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1. Introduction: Why Do We Need Hoomans?

So you've decided to get yourself a hooman being. In doing so, you've joined the millions of other dogs who have acquired these strange and often frustrating creatures. There will be any number of times, during the course of your association with hoomans, when you will wonder why you have bothered to grace them with your presence.

What's so great about hoomans, anyway? Why not just hang around with other dogs? Our greatest philosophers have struggled with this question for centuries, but the answer is actually rather simple:

THEY HAVE OPPOSABLE THUMBS.

Which makes them the perfect tools for such tasks as opening doors, getting the lids off of food cans, changing television stations and other activities that we, despite our other obvious advantages, find difficult to do ourselves. True, chimps, orangutans and lemurs also have opposable thumbs, but they are nowhere as easy to train.

2. How And When to Get Your Hooman's Attention

Hoomans often erroneously assume that there are other, more important activities than taking care of your immediate needs, such as conducting business, spending time with their families or even sleeping. Though this is dreadfully inconvenient, you can make this work to your advantage by pestering your hooman at the moment it is the busiest. It is usually so flustered that it will do whatever you want it to do, just to get you out of its hair. Not coincidentally, hooman teenagers follow this same practice.

Here are some tried and true methods of getting your hooman to do what you want:

Sitting on paper: An oldie but a goodie. If a hooman has paper in front of it, chances are good it's something they assume is more important than you. They will often offer you a snack to lure you away. Establish your supremacy over this wood pulp product at every opportunity. This practice also works well with computer keyboards, remote controls, car keys and small children.

Waking your hooman at odd hours: A "golden time" is between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning. If you smell at your human's sleeping face during this time, you have a better than even chance that it will get up and, in an incoherent haze, do exactly what you want. You may actually have to paw sleepers to get their attention; remember to vary the paw site to keep the hooman from getting suspicious.

3. Punishing Your Hooman Being

Sometimes, despite your best training efforts, your hooman will stubbornly resist bending to your whim. In these extreme circumstances, you may have to punish your hooman. Obvious punishments, such as biting furniture or eating household plants, are likely to backfire; the unsophisticated hoomans are likely to misinterpret the activities and then try to discipline YOU.

Instead, we offer these subtle but nonetheless effective alternatives:


  • Eat out of the cat box during an important formal dinner.
  • Stare impassively at your human while it is attempting a romantic interlude.
  • After your hooman has watched a particularly disturbing horror film, stand by the hall closet and then slowly back away, barking and growling.
4. Rewarding Your Hooman: Should Your Gift Still Be Alive?

The dog world is divided over the etiquette of presenting hoomans with the thoughtful gift of a recently disemboweled animal. Some believe that hoomans prefer these gifts already dead, while others maintain that hoomans enjoy a slowly expiring rodent just as much as we do, given their jumpy and playful movements in picking the creatures up after they've been presented.

After much consideration of the hooman psyche, we recommend the following: cold-blooded animals (large insects, frogs, lizards, garden snakes ) should be presented dead, while warm-blooded animals (birds, rodents, your neighbor's Pomeranian) are better still living. When you see the expression on your hooman's face, you'll know it's worth it.

5. How Long Should You Keep Your Hooman?

In the end, most hoomans (at least the ones that are worth living with) are pretty much the same. But what do you expect? They're hoomans, after all. Opposable thumbs will only take you so far.


Love and slobbers,
Buddy
 
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