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Guest Post: An Interview with Treo

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I asked readers to write a love letter to their DINOS and picked a winning essay.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing all of the entries.

Here’s what Melissa wrote:

Treo, DINOS is holding a contest where we can write a valentine’s letter to our DINOS dog – how about I interview instead?

Treo looks off into space as if he were taking a long drag from a cigarette, and with a sigh, he says, “yeah, sure.”

Being a DINOS, any advice to those struggling?

“First of all, it’s not a label, more like a journey of self-discovery.  I will have good days, surprising days, and not so good days.  It is what it is, I own it, I’ll be the first to say, ‘I’m a dog in need of space – deal with it!'”

On that self-discovery, Treo, we’ve never allowed being a DINOS to interfere with competing in Agility, Flyball or Rally-O, what’s kept you in there?

“Yeah, you and I have spent a lot of time investing in these sports.  You aren’t exactly easy to train, I couldn’t see giving up on you after all this time.  Anyway, together we are awesome.  Can’t imagine giving it all up just because other’s make me nervous.”

What a coincidence, I feel the same way.  Except, I thought you were pretty easy to train, a-hem.  Ok, next question.  Your words, “other’s make me nervous.”  Could you expand on that?

“Sure.  I have a big bubble.  I do like other dogs, it’s a big stereotype to think that I don’t.  I mean, I live with 3 other dogs, 3 cats and an occasional foster dog.  I can co-hab with other dogs.  I caught a baby bunny and gently put it in your hand.  I like other living creatures.  BUT, sometimes I get a bad vibe, and sometimes I’m not in the mood to meet someone new.  Anyway, they give me a look when we’re passing by, or they get in my space and it makes me edgy.  I use my warning signs, and if they back off, we’re good.  If they don’t, what am I supposed to do?  I don’t have time for that crap.  Long story short, you keep me safe, and I can tell you do your best.  That’s why I tend now to look to you for info when other dogs are around.  Thanks for that.  I feel safer.”

You’re welcome.  I don’t like you to feel threatened. I like others to see you as I see you.  99% of the time you are happy-go-lucky, playing games, running, having a great time together.

What about your Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde routine with people?  What’s that all about?

“Look, I get mis-cues all the time.  Strangers look at me in the eyes, or get their face too close to my face, or are too loud and it freaks me out.  Big time.  Do these people even know how to greet a dog?  What the heck happened to the put you handout and let me smell you before you go right in for the pet or snuggle?  I mean, who does that?!  Do you meet people and get up in their grill?”

Well, no.  That’d be rude.

“Exactly!  Rude.  So, people seemed to have forgotten how to greet a dog.  And because of that, I like the new game we play where I ‘pretend’ to greet them, but you have cookies, and they like hold their hand out and I like pretend sniff it and you give me a cookie.  Then you flood me with cookies and they are petting me and I don’t even know it because you are shoving cookies in my face.  I like that.  I just stare at you and forget that they are even there.  Suckers.”


Ok, good.  Glad you like that.  What advice do you have for other guardians who have DINOS like you?

“My first thought is how lucky they are.  I mean, I am a one woman Man.  That’s it.  Primo!  Only one for me. They have to come to the realization that I don’t have to be THAT kind of dog who loves everyone.  I’m extra-specially made just for you!  Also, think of how much we learn together.  If I was a cookie cutter dog, who loves everyone…how boring?! How cliché!  Every victory we have, every step ahead, it will be because we’ve invested in each other.  We’ve tried, and we’ve overcome.  You and I.  Now and forever.”

Treo then hopped off the couch, grabbed is ball from the floor and pushed it into my lap. Tennis balls heal all.  Never forget that.

Want more Treo? Check out Melissa’s blog Red Dogs Rule!

One Comment
  1. Holy mackerel does this describe my dog Cahira….she is not unfriendly to people, but she is unsure of them….she loves me and my husband and our immediate family. Others, it takes awhile. Thanks for sharing.

    February 17, 2012

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