I have a Doberman. His name is Dexter.

When I walk him down the street, mothers pull their children to their sides. Policemen yell at me for letting him off leash, and other dog owners shy away from us at the park. Some even condemn me for not having a muzzle on him.

I wish I could explain that my dog isn’t this kind of Doberman:

He’s this kind of Doberman:

Here he is pictured on the Couch of Heaven. The Couch of Heaven is where Dexter’s masters spend most of their time, and his all-encompassing goal in life is to be allowed on to the couch.

Unfortunately, he’s currently exiled to the Rug of Purgatory. This is because the last time he was on the Couch of Heaven, he began chewing on the blanket. I AM THE MASTER, I MAKE THE RULES.

Other characters in Dexter’s life include:

The Noisy Small Person and the Scary Chair. Often combined, these block the poor dog’s passage from one room to the next. Walking past the Scary Chair in a calm manner is impossible. It’s liable to rock, make sounds, or burst into screaming at any moment.

If he finds himself unable to pass the Noisy Small Person and the Scary Chair, Dexter will position himself just behind the Chair, stare at the nearest master, and cry plaintively until the Chair is moved. Once he has room to pass, he will then attempt to sneak by as quickly as possible, usually skittering across the tile floor and knocking over a few items of furniture.

The Laundry room of Terror. When we first moved to Barcelona, we put the dog bowls into the laundry room. Dexter was so terrified of the room that he refused to eat or drink, choosing instead to run wild at the park scarfing whatever he could find on the ground and drinking puddles of gross liquid-y substances. It became a standoff of sorts, with me refusing to move the food for what I deemed a stupid reason and him slowly starving. Finally Matt gave in and put his food in the hall to prevent him from starving himself to death.

My other dog, Ricky, is not afraid of the Laundry Room of Terror. He actually got quite fat eating all of Dexter’s food.

The Evil Cleaning Implements. After Dexter has taken care to shed as much fur as possible into every corner of this apartment, I use the Evil Cleaning Implements to remove said fur and throw it in the garbage. Poor dog. Parents just don’t understand, do they?

The Evil Cleaning Implements are so terrifying that Dexter will flee them by standing on the couch, risking my wrath. When I attempt to shoo him off by waving the broom in his direction, he just slinks as low as possible and gives me sad eyes.

What a vicious animal.

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