Man vs. dog

One thing that makes dobermans a great breed to own is their quick sense of boundaries. When he hit thirty pounds Max figured out that he could push open our back screen door with the crappy latch if he jumped on it, yet before he doubled that weight he would stand at the threshold with the door wide open and cry until we tell him it is ok to come outside. We never explicitly trained him to do that, he just knew that mom and dad expect you to ask and wait for an answer before crossing a big threshold like inside-outside. Kids are even smarter than a doberman (okay, we have faith) so DMDFII should pick up that lesson twice as fast. Right?

We wanted to teach Max to keep off the furniture altogether but Dr. Mrs. Dr. F. had a moment of weakness, the same flaw of character that Max exploits every damn night at dinner, and now he owns this one loveseat. This being the one thing that gets him off the floor and up where People go, and comfy as heck and warm on a cold day, the dog spends an easy majority of his day on the thing. In another of our informal agreements Dr. Mrs. Dr. F. has claimed the pristine white couch for working and reading while the dog and I share the loveseat. Don’t get me wrong, I could use couch if I wanted to, the dog and I both like the loveseat.

So today I’m poking around on the computer before dinner and this happens.

First he brings me a ball. Then he brings me a tug rope. Finally he just stands near me and starts crying in the way that every doberman owner knows like the sound of yourself breathing. Then he starts licking my hand, and then the phone rings and I get up to pick it up, and when I turn around I see this.

I considered yelling at the SOB or lifting up his butt to make room. I thought about the vacuum cleaner, too cruel, or offering him a treat in the kitchen, which just rewards this kind of crap. Instead the hardwood needed sweeping anyway, so I got the broom and cleaned up around the living room. It is not my problem that the dog has this inexplicable thing about sweeping. When he grumbled and made for his crate I put down the broom and went back to work on my computer crap. Now he’s curled up in the two foot space next to me while a batch of Belgian trippel bubbles in secondary fermentation, and all is right with the world.

Well, I can’t help whatever stupidity Eric Cantor thought up this week. But things are pretty good.

43 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    He is gorgeous, and that is a damned funny story.

  2. 2
    Ash Can says:

    I lol’d.

    And Eric Cantor can go fuck himself, on general principles.

  3. 3
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    My wife just bought two of those brown couch covers a few months ago. Alas, the hound is currently spread out upstairs on our bed.

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    Our middle cat, Annie, will sometimes lure G out of his chair by pretending she wants a belly rub, and then circles back to steal the chair.

    Usually, he gives up and comes to sit in the living room instead.

  5. 5
    raven says:

    My knuckleheads are great stealth seat stealers. The Bohdi also steals my socks all the time.

  6. 6
    cckids says:

    Our dog-like cat, Olivander’s nickname is “Seat-Jacking Bastard”. You can have your ass out of the chair 10 seconds, and he is in it.

    Unlike Max, Olivander has no favorite chair except the one you were just sitting in. He likes the warmth, I’m sure. I also have to fight him out of laundry baskets while I’m folding the laundry.

  7. 7
    muddy says:

    @Mnemosyne: My dogs do that to each other, pretend to bark at the front of the house to get someone’s warm spot at the back. I have a brass bell hanging from the doorknob, and they are to ring that to go out. Sometimes Sawyer rings it, and then when I go to the door he balks and starts edging toward the treat area. Bad dog!

  8. 8
    Howard Beale IV says:

    When it comes to the old adage ‘dogs have masters, cats have staff’, methinks the latter applies to dobes.

  9. 9
    Tommy says:

    My cat is laughing at your dog. She just walked across my desk, put her butt up in my face, and laughed at me.

  10. 10
    muddy says:

    @Tommy: The way they laugh at you with the butt is just vicious. I know just what you mean.

  11. 11
    Scamp Dog says:

    I know that face! Border Collies can do it too. Biscuit adds the “rest chin on leg” thing to it, and several other tricks to get me to take her for a walk, or toss a toy around. Doggies, they keep calling us back from the world of thought and internet commenting. They’re good for us.

  12. 12
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Layla the wonderhound is currently in full body pout mode because I declined to take her for an amble around the cul de sac in the snow. She learned that from her late brother Django, and she learned how to sneak into a room you’re in unnoticed (at 75 lbs) from her late sister Louise. She’s the baby of the bunch and does not want a sibling now thankyouverymuch.

    Great to see Max!

  13. 13
    PurpleGirl says:

    All the dogs and the cat had furniture privileges in Peekskill. They usually waited until the humans sat down and settled before they tried to claim space. Hugo say himself as a lap dog — yeah, 85 lbs or so, 3 ft high, 4 ft long. He would climb on the couch next to me, if I was crocheting I’d tell “no pets right now, come back later.” He’d leave and damn it, in a half-hour he’d be back with a look on his face that said, “Well, you said come back later, it’s later. Pet me.”

    Max puppeh reminds me of Hugo. MAX!

  14. 14
    rea says:

    Our girl is a miniature Doberman, which means she looks and acts just like Max, but is a small fraction of the size. She bullies our much larger and older dog unmercifully.

  15. 15
    muddy says:

    @PurpleGirl: A half hour is actually later, though, that’s pretty cool. Mine turn halfway away and then try and circle back when they think I have turned my gaze. Eventually everyone gets yelled at, and then they can all settle down. Children mind better, or at least they know they’d rather skip the “yelling at” portion of the festivities.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:


    An old boyfriend of mine had Borzois that would STAND on your lap when you were trying to watch TV. Or they would sit bolt upright instead of laying across your lap like the golden retriever would. Argh.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    Both of those behaviors sound prototypically catlike. Cats as a group are notorious chair stealers, and their fondness for laundry baskets- clean preferred but dirty when clean is unavailable- is well known.

  18. 18
    Tommy says:

    @PurpleGirl: I have a cat. Sits in my lap.I want a dog. Not a small dog. Your size. I’ve not gotten one cause I know it is a commitment, but I want a large dog. Doberman is my thinking, so I look at this diary and want, want, want one.

  19. 19
    trollhattan says:


    Trying hard to imagine that. Those are ginormous. Lovely to watch run at full speed–do they ever cover ground pronto.

    Max has been misidentified–he’s purebred ham.

  20. 20
    raven says:

    @Tommy: Get a rescue mutt, there are so many great dogs that need help.

  21. 21
    Grange95 says:

    @Scamp Dog: Our boxer Berkeley has a progression. Toy. Stare. Toy. Whine. Toy. Head on arm/sofa. Toy. Nose bump. Whine. Paw. Sigh. Paw. Face lick. Bark. Even if I’m in the middle of a major writing project, there will be a walk or run.

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    @muddy: I know. I just loved the look on his face. And I would to start to pet him. If N and I went anywhere in the car and took Hugo with us, he’d sit between my legs in the passenger well. This accomplished two things — it was easy for me to pet him and he could still look out the side window. He knew how to get pets.

  23. 23
    raven says:

    @PurpleGirl: Lil Bit owns the passenger seat, it doesn’t matter if a human is in it or not.

  24. 24
    jenn says:

    Max! Loved the story :) I am currently the victim of a couple of canine Jedis, who are staring at me, willing me to feed them. Better get at it!

  25. 25
    muddy says:

    I like that you can tell which dog is in charge by who is sitting in the driver’s seat when you come out of the store. Always.

  26. 26
    DanR2 says:

    Dog seeks loveseat story was kind of nice, but you really got my attention with the Belgian Trippel home brew.

  27. 27
    Tim F. says:

    @DanR2: Heh. It went from 1.073 down to 1.014, and that does not even count the extra shot of belgian sugar and honey that I gave it after a few days in primary. I checked it during transfer to secondary and it will be awesome.

  28. 28
    kindness says:

    I love Belgian type ales. How big a batch are you making?

  29. 29
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    My fucking dog won’t go on a chair, even if encouraged. What she does, is lay down where my feet belong EVERY time I get up to get a glass of wine, or coffee, or whatever.

    Cursed thing.

  30. 30
    Tim F. says:

    @kindness: The usual two cases.

  31. 31
    kindness says:

    @Tim F.: Do you use a glass bottle to ferment it, you know the large one homemade wine gets done in. What are they, 5 gallons or something? Years ago we used to have a really decent microbrewer and he’d put out the 24 oz bottles with the flip lids. Some of my homebrew friends would beg for those. But they don’t hold the CO2 in as well so eventually they all switched to bottles and capped them. Works better and a 12 oz bottle is easier to come by.

  32. 32
    lurker dean says:

    tim, you do great work with an ep1 and a strobe, love your pics.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    @kindness: carbuoy?

  34. 34
    WaterGirl says:

    I just scrolled through a bunch of your photos, and oh what an adorable baby Max was! Love love love the photos of Max with the big brown dog. Grown-up Max is gorgeous and regal, but baby Max is beyond cute.

  35. 35
    BD of MN says:

    It’s a bit cool to do a Tripel, unless you’ve got your thermostat set to about 75 deg F…

    It’ll probably taste great, but Belgian yeasts really need a warm ferment to attenuate out as much as the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) style guidelines say they should, or as much as good commercial examples do…

  36. 36
    Botsplainer says:

    I just tossed Leo (Tervuren, 9 1/2 months) into his crate in the garage. If it weren’t for my 3 am bathroom runs, he’d be the perfect bedroom dog – last night, he refused to get back to sleep. First, he hopped into my spot by my wife, then objected when I moved his ass.

  37. 37
    Tim F. says:

    @kindness: yep, that is my secondary.

    @BD of MN: I think you are getting a little strict for a homebrew. If I wanted to compete in something I would sign up for a mountain bike race.

  38. 38
    Tim F. says:

    @lurker dean: thanks. I have tried a lot of things but a small camera, a good lens and one indirect strobe is my happy place.

  39. 39
    Paul says:

    Grew up with Dobies – just love ’em (I have Shepherds now). Great story and fantastic pics of Max.

  40. 40
    BD of MN says:

    @Tim F.: Yeah, but getting my judging certification made me a much better homebrewer. (the weekend before the Super Bowl I spent two days helping judge in one of the largest homebrew contests in the country, if I never have another homebrewed IPA it’ll be too soon…)

    If you ever decide to read into this particular part of the hobby a bit more, I’d recommend Stan Hieronymous’ “Brew Like a Monk”…

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:


    The other night, G and I were spooning (for sleeping, nothing more exciting) and Charlotte decided that she needed to try and drape herself over our hips. It almost worked, except that G got too hot (a cat’s normal temperature is about 101 degrees).

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    Love, love, love this post’s Max photos.

    Beautiful, photogenic seat stealer.

  43. 43
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Grange95: My chocolate Lab [Gus] pretty much has the same kind of routine, except twice as many whines and eventually he will find a sock or a piece of paper to run around with until we get up and play with him.

    Drives my wife crazy at times, but I would not trade him or his antics for anything.

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