In my dog’s world, who’s training who?

Community Editor Tammy Malgesini and the General, her 4-year-old German shepherd.

As time goes on, I’m learning to think more like a dog.

While watching “Dog with a Blog,” sometimes I wish the General could just tell me what he’s thinking. A 4-year-old German shepherd — he’s the smartest dog I’ve ever had. I’m sure he doesn’t think the same of me.

While I feel extremely safe and protected when I’m with him, it evidently took him awhile to feel the same with me. I know this because the first time we went on a trip without John and Lucifer, the General didn’t do a duty for nearly 40 hours.

No matter how much I wanted him to take care of business, it wasn’t happening. In addition to the multiple stops on the way to Klamath Falls, when I got to the hotel I took him outside numerous times.

Seriously, nothing. I found all kinds of great spots for him. Along the lines of you can take a horse to water — he was having none of it.

I later learned I was approaching it all wrong. I was thinking like a human — you know, turning my head and looking the other way to give him privacy.

Dogs feel most vulnerable when doing their business, so they look to their human for protection. Go ahead, Google it. I was supposed to stare at him — reassuring him that I had his back.

Now it totally makes sense the first time I brought him to work late one night. When I went to the restroom, he crawled underneath the stall door, sat down and gazed at me the entire time.

I’m like, “Dude, the door is locked, you can sit out there.” Of course, he was probably thinking I was being ungrateful.

There are things I still need to figure out. I don’t get why the General shakes his head and tries to get out of the way when I blow in his face. This is the same dog that can’t wait for me to roll down the window when I’m driving so he can stick his head out.

And, evidently the General was royalty in a previous life. When I’m getting treats in the kitchen, Lucifer comes running to get some. General, on the other hand, waits to have his delivered. I swear he has a look on his face like, “What took you so long?”

In his eyes, I may be the prehistoric canine goddess but there are still things I need to learn.


Tammy Malgesini is the community editor. Her column, Inside my Shoes, includes general musings about life. Contact her at or 541-564-4539.

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