My Dog Is An Idiot: A Love Story
Okay. There. I said it. My dog is an idiot. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that we have two very smart dogs and one very not smart dog.
And Foster? Well, I’m not sure yet, though I do have my suspicions.
It took me even longer to be able to say it out loud. When I first spoke the words, it was a whisper. “I think Galileo might be an idiot”, I said to my husband one night while we were sitting on the couch watching Galileo lick the wall.
And, even though we knew it was true, it kind of hurt to say it out loud. Once you name it, it becomes real in a whole new way, and you can’t take it back.
It was a shameful secret we kept to ourselves. I mean, no one actively sets out to share their life with a stupid dog. It’s not something normal people brag about at dinner parties, but as you’ve probably guessed, I’m not normal people.
For many, many months, my husband and I whispered our confessions to each other.
“He ran into the wall, got mad, barked at it and then ran into it again.”
“Don’t worry. It’s just a little cut. He hit himself in the head with his food bowl again.”
“I said I don’t know how! Just get me the wire cutters. His head his stuck in the fence!”
As time passed, we came to accept that Galileo was never going to live up to his namesake, but our acceptance was always tempered by one caveat: in addition to a broken back and BB’s in his abdomen, he must have been kerplunked on the head. We loved him and begrudgingly accepted his intellectual deficiencies, but we also felt a need to justify it. I think we were more than mildly ashamed.
It isn’t his fault that he gets stuck underneath the bed. He was kerplunked on the head as a puppy.
It’s not his fault that he falls off the couch several times a week for absolutely no reason at all. He was kerplunked on the head as a puppy.
So what if he’s scared of the microwave. It’s not his fault. He was kerplunked on the head as a puppy.
Eventually, we began to own it. We gave him loving nicknames, like Dingbat and Meathead and Kim Kardashian. And no, that is not a partisan statement. Everyone one of us, no matter our political views, knows she’s a moron who should be wearing a helmet and probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive. And trust me, I’ve thought about outfitting Galileo with a helmet, too.
By owning his idiocy, we more fully embraced who he is. He’s a sweet, affectionate, verbal when he’s playing, scared of fast movements, terrified of loud sounds, fearful of brooms, rock-eating, wall-licking idiot and we love him because he is all of these things and more.
We no longer worry about the why; instead, we now focus on the humor. He brings tremendous joy to our life. More than anything he likes to give hugs. That, and hitting himself in the head with everything.
He’s an idiot. Our idiot. And we wouldn’t want him any other way.