Tag Archives: image

Hierarchy & dominance

Yesterday I met a dog on the beach who asked me who is on top of the hierarchy in my pack. He had read my blog about knowing one’s place, where I state that Chuck is at the bottom of this hierarchy. The dog was curious where I stand. I thought it a very stupid question. I am on top, of course!

The dog who asked me this is not the brightest one and therefore it is not good if he uses his tiny brain for subjects that are too demanding for him. He’d better focus on necessary tasks (like finding food). That is why I gave him this answer. The correct answer to his question is not that simple. You see: a hierarchy in a group of dogs or humans or a mixed group is not static, but dynamic. Who is ‘on top’ depends on the task that needs to be done.

As I wrote before about the misconception of dominance, dogs and humans work together in a way that is best for a certain situation. Every group consists of leaders and followers, but they are not always the same humans or dogs. The human or dog who is most able to perform the task required is in the lead. So it depends on the task who is ‘boss’. I read in these management magazines (P reads them too) that it works exactly the same way in modern human organizations. There is no boss who tells everybody what to do, but there are specialists, working together.


That is exactly how it works in packs of dogs and humans, too. Humans know the way in the complex human world, so they guide us there. It is their speciality. Dogs know the way in the natural and spiritual world, so we guide our humans there. We teach them to be patient (when we do not come when called, for instance), to be clear in their intentions (you cannot lie to us, we see right through you) and we give comfort in hard times. Our hierarchy is fluid, it changes according to the circumstances.

Anyway, that is too difficult a story to tell the dog with the tiny brain, so I just told him I am the boss in our little hierarchy. He is a terrible newsmonger, I am sure he will tell all the beach dogs that I am the boss. Good! That’s great for my image.


Odd times

This is a silly time. The days are dark, the smell of food is in the air more than in any time of the year and humans stuff their houses with sticks adorned with odd looking, light emitting things. Normally we dogs are not allowed to take sticks into the house, but now humans do this themselves! Very odd.

Yesterday I met a dog who told me he had had a good time  with these special sticks, when he was home alone. He had a lot of fun with the trinkets and the tasty tree, before his humans got home and got very mad. We discussed that this is strange: how can you put something to play with in your house and not want your dog to play with it? That is just not fair. Besides, he told me the house looked much more cosy and festive with the trinkets (and the tree dissembled into manageable sticks) scattered through the living room. So his humans should be thankful, instead of angry!

We do not have these sticks in the house, but our neighbors do. Yesterday I heard their cat singing (well, yammering actually) through the walls: ‘oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree, your ornaments are history’. Then I heard a crash. I didn’t know cats play with sticks, too!

It is all right with me when humans behave odd. But they should leave us dogs out of it. The trouble is: they don’t. They appear to think we need some special attention too and with attention they do not mean things dogs like (like taking a long walk or gnawing a juicy bone), but things humans like. One thing is… they dress us, in stupid clothes! Throughout the year only chihuahuas have to stand being dressed up like little humans, but during winter times other dogs are victims, too.

I will tell you why it is NOT a good idea to dress your dog. We are not human, we have fur. That keeps us warm enough. We do not like clothing, it gives us a stuffy feeling and it itches. But, most important: dressing up your dog is killing for her image. If she will go out in that reindeer sweater you bought for her, the dogs in the neighborhood will never take her serious again. I know what I am talking about. When I was a puppy and living with my foster parents (before M and P adopted me), I was dressed up, too. It was minus ten degrees Celsius and I did not have enough hair to keep me warm in those days, coming out of Greece and all that. This is what it looked like:

Cardigan bubbles

Yes, it looked utterly ridiculous. I could do nothing about it at the time: I did show my teeth, but being so small they thought it looked ‘cute’ and dressed me up all the same. I am only sharing this with you to show how stupid clothes look on a dog. I did not care much about image building in those days, just arriving from Greece and looking for a home I had other worries. But now I live in a new place, with a proper home, I would never wear something like this. It would be killing for my image with the cool dogs in the neighborhood.

So if this Christmas (that is what these silly days are called) your human gives you clothes for a present, make him/her very clear you do not appreciate it. Tear them apart immediately. Pee on them. Give them to the cat. I for myself am sure M would never give me clothes. I am hoping to get hair extensions, for my ears!


My cargobike

Dutch people cycle a lot. They use their bikes for practically anything: going to work, to friends, to do some shopping. We have all sorts of bikes here, especially different kinds of cargobikes. Some humans bring their kids to school using a cargobike, others use them for groceries or their pets. Some do it all at once, they transport their stuff and kids and dog in one cargobike. Very cosy.

My cargobike

I am very fond of my cargobike. It is a solid one and it has a removable part on the front, so I can get in and out easily. I could jump in, of course, but M won’t have me do that. When we go out, I sometimes run next to the bike and sometimes I sit in it. Humans smile when they see me, M tells me it looks sweet. Sweet! Pfwah. These humans obviously do not know sitting in my cargobike is hard work.

I have to guard the bike. Check that our route is safe. There might be other bikes or cars that could be a danger. We might meet bad mannered dogs that try to attack us. We might hit a pigeon flying too low (I hope this will happen one day). Or a dangerous cat, crossing the road. I see all kinds of dangers looming around the next corner. M does not notice this, she is biking at leisure. That is good, it is the way it is supposed to be. She should be relaxed and have no worries, because I am guarding her. I am a ferocious guarding dog! So how can humans think I look sweet, sitting in this bike? I think I have a problem with my image. I’ll ask my personal trainer what to do about it.