November 29, 2010


Seattle is a very misunderstood city. Everyone who doesn’t live here or has only visited on occasion thinks that when we say it rains that it rains ALL THE TIME. And the weather forecasters don’t help. Like today. They predicted rain — 70% chance — and from early in the morning until I finished work, no rain. Okay yes, it rained CATS and well, more cats starting early in the evening and as my paws float over the keyboard, it’s still raining, but still, everyone thinks that when they say rain, they mean rain rain rain rain rain rain rain when really what it means is gray gray gray.

That as the color of most of today, but thankfully we never got wet (well, except for about 10 drops of rain as we entered the front door at the end of the day). I thought a lot today about being misunderstood. It’s not only cities and weather that is misunderstood, but dogs, too.

I find I’m often misunderstood. For instance, I’m a curly, cute boy and a Labradoodle to boot. Everyone assumes that doodles are friendly and gregarious, that they are full of abundant friendliness so whenever they ask, “Is that a Labradoodle?” I know they’ll come straight at me expecting a gleeful, bouncy greeting.

But that’s not me. I’m a reserved guy and until I get to know you, I hold back. In fact, it takes about five greetings before I’ll actually warm up to you. In some ways this is good. I don’t jump on you, I’m not demanding, nor do I make a nuisance of myself hurling my doodle body in your direction. In some ways, though, it’s frustrating — for the greeters, for my moms, and even for me.

Being shy means that people worry that something is wrong with me. Greeters keep trying and trying to joyously greet me and they take offense when I back away. It’s frustrating for my moms because they have to explain that while I’m friendly, I’m shy and reserved and hold back my friendliness until I get to know people. And it’s frustrating for me because I’m a bit nervous. It gets tiring to be so anxious and nervous, so we’re working on ways to reduce my stress through Chinese herbs and chiropractic and massage treatments. It’s all helping, but still, I’m often misunderstood.

I asked Woobie if she ever felt misunderstood and she said, “People assume I can’t see them, but I can, really, I can. I get kind of frustrated when they keep pulling back my hair and say stuff like, ‘You poor dog’ because I’m not unhappy in the least!”

Oshi says he’s misunderstood because people assume he’s a dog, but “I’m very in touch with my feline side, as you know, Rubin. If people understood that about me they wouldn’t force me to go outside in inclement weather. They’d get me a dog box for inside the house just like my cat friends have a cat box.”

Whatever, Oshi.

For Perrito, he says, “People assume I’m a little dog. I’m not sure why they think that because really, I’m a big dog, a very, very big dog.”

Huh, okay?

“Miss Understood?” Saber asked quizzically. “Who’s she?”

Oh boy. Though I must say, I envy Saber’s ease with people. He’s definitely not reserved when it comes to meeting new people! Nor is he reserved about chomping on sticks despite our efforts to get a photograph!

I suppose in one way or another, we’re all a bit misunderstood. I guess I shouldn’t feel alone, still, I hope people realize that Seattle is more than it’s rain just as I’m more than my lab and poodle-ness!

Until tomorrow (when it’s really supposed to rain!),


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