"the bloggers' post"

A Dogs Loyalty

In Dog Blog on February 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm

My dog Roscoe

Why Our Shoes Taste So Good

My dog Roscoe used to chew up mine and my wife’s shoes, but mostly her shoes. Besides the countless tears my wife dispensed over her favorite black strapped heels with the open toes, there was a message that Roscoe was trying to send us. The problem is that we don’t speak dog, and therefore we were desperate to figure out what the reason behind the guiltless destruction of our shoes.

The reality is that I was more desperate to figure it out, because I couldn’t take another session of tears and frustration from my wife. Now, don’t get me wrong my wife is not materialistic, but when I had four pairs of shoes lying next to my wife’s one pair of shoes, and the dog chose hers to chew, it amplified her frustration. I was determined to listen to the dog, and figure out what the deal was, and then try to convince him that shoes are not a good medium of communication.

The first thing we noticed is that there was a time limit that triggered his behavior. I work from home a lot, and we take Roscoe to the office. We work nearby, and when we are going to be gone for an extended period of time we arrange for some assistance from friendly neighbors. The fact was that if we left him alone for any period of time over 4 hours, we could quite possibly come home to shoemagaden.

I know what you may be thinking…”why don’t you put those damn shoes away?” The answer is simple. Sometimes we simply forgot, and even when we didn’t we assumed we forgot, and the panic set in. I started to deduce that the fact that my wife’s shoes were more delicious than mine and this is when I realized I spend more time with Roscoe.

Many people had told us that this was a call for attention, and we understood that. I just wanted a deeper understanding of this, and the chosen delivery of the message. Why shoes? I know there is a strong scent for the dog, but how did he know which ones were going to cause the most frustration and pain. There was something else there. I knew it.

I’ve decided that Roscoe was trying to teach us about loyalty. Loyalty, by many definitions, is simply faithful adherence.  We were faithful. It wasn’t like we were spending time hanging out with other dogs, we were just busy. I think the loyalty my pup was looking for was actually a loyalty to balance.

It was a faithful adherence to balance that was missing. We weren’t scheduled well. We didn’t promote a healthy schedule that gave us time for each other or for Roscoe. See I believe that the destruction of our shoes was actually Roscoe taking away our method of leaving the house. How can you leave if you have no shoes? And, if you can’t leave, then you have to spend time together.

As I have always believed in loyalty I can now add this deeper understanding of the faithful adherence to balance to our time with one another. Being loyal to one another isn’t just a function of promising to be there for each other when it counts. It’s actually about being there often, and being there to honor the commitment of friendship, love, or companionship that we made when decided to interconnect our lives.

Thanks for the lesson Roscoe,


For more lessons, and to see the future site of this blog topic please visit www.conversationswiththedog.com it’s a work in progress so don’t be too critical.

  1. great post. Dogs have a crazy way of communication, but they always get the message across. You are right about loyalty. I know that my dogs would do anything they could to teach roscoe the lessons of shoemaggedon…..including demonstrating on my shoes in the past….but the end message is the same. Keep those you love close, and you know you never have to question loyalty…..

  2. Good story and lesson in your post! I am reminded of my early childhood experiences with our family dog, Friday. She came into our family when I was 4 yrs old. She was well-tempered and easy to train.

    In that era, being the 1950’s, one car per family was the norm. Moms stayed home, and many things were delivered and/or picked up by vendors or service persons. Milk, eggs, laundry, the mail, newspapers, coal were delivered regularly. Garbage men would walk all the way to the back of the property, drag the cans to the street, dump them and then put the empties back. Mail was delivered twice each weekday by the same fellow on foot the entire route.

    Friday was not one to bark a great deal. But at certain times, she would bark like crazy. This was an “angry” bark that she would have at times. It made us all wonder why she would bark like this only at certain people and not others who would approach our home regularly.

    I finally figured out the barking puzzle! I noticed that Friday never barked at those who came to deliver something. She only got mad at those who came to take something away such as the garbage men. In fact she would bark when the laundry got taken, but would not bark when the shirts were delivered!

    A tornado hit our home when I was 5. Had it not been for Friday barking like crazy and running up and down the basement stairs just moments before our home was hit, all of us could have been badly injured if not killed. Her wild behavior led us to believe we should follow her. She led our family of 7 to the one spot in the house (a basement corner) that was devoid of imploding glass and/or tree limbs!

    I am now 60 and I still dream about Friday! I’m always disappointed to wake up and realize that, no, she is not still alive!

    • Alice,

      Wow, I love the comment. It is so well written, and totally thought invoking. I love the connection to the coming and going of people to your home, and what it was to the dog. It’s interesting to think about taking away things vs. bringing things to Friday’s space. Maybe we are like that too. I’m going to sit with that thought for awhile.

      Do you think you’d like to write the story out for the blog that I’m dedicated to the lessons I’ve learned from Roscoe. I’ve decided to start http://www.ConversationsWithTheDog.com in order to stay focused on what parts of my audience want. Let me know your thoughts. I think you are great at writing, and would love to have your dog stories there.

      Let me know,


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