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20/40/60: Oh! The Humanity! 

When humans make dogs do human things

In honor of the Dog Days issue, the dogs of the Source weigh in on keeping up with their humans at the park, on the bike path and at the concert grounds.

As the dogs of the Source, suffice it to say that life is not exactly "ruff." They may work long hours, but our humans get hit up with so many requests to '"try out this new patio," or "check out this new product," that as their dogs, we also get to benefit. (By the way, if you have any new dog treats our humans don't know about, the address here is 704 NW Georgia, Bend.)

Still, there are times when their love for us—and for checking out all the good stuff Central Oregon has to offer—gets in the way of us being the wild and free beasts our ancestors meant us to be. In honor of the Dog Days of Summer issue, and in the spirit of our humans' 20/40/60 monthly feature, we submit these accounts of what it's like to be dogs whose humans make us do human things, a LOT.

Sanka, almost 20-something (in dog years)


I have a flowing, glowing mane that handles -30 F temps, beefy muscles to pull sleds and can handle virtually anything thrown my way — even a Satanic cat that these hoomans make me live with. I mean, I'm named after "Cool Runnings," star, Sanka, who apparently was a badass Olympic Jamaican bobsledder... though I didn't quite understand the film.

But I'm just barely a teenager. I recently just learned that pooping on carpet is not the same thing as pooping on grass. Or that eating chocolate from the counter or these tiny snack things called "Advil" from the floor isn't allowed (I tried, anyway).  

And c'mon, I've been bred historically by Siberians, aka, Russians, so I can handle some strenuous, kooky, off-the-wall stuff. Except vodka. I accidently just tasted it when the girl with the round face who sometimes I call "Mom" left out her "seltzer" water. It was NOT just seltzer. Trust.

But "Ya ne mogu poverit', chto eti lyudi nastol'ko glupy!" Oh, sorry, the Russian came out. It happens when I'm baffled.  

Why am I so perplexed? These humans put my still-growing self onto a paddleboard at Elk Lake the other week, because they said it would be "fun." Do they KNOW how heavy this thick and luxurious fur is when wet? I could drown! Plus, my skin is PINK and susceptible to burning at these high altitudes. I shouldn't even be up there (OK, the brief stop at Devil's Lake to play in that white snuff....err, stuff, was pretty cool). 

So I pulled a sly Soviet move. I jumped ship and nearly toppled "Mom" over as I swam over to "Uncle Chadd." I'm pretty sure I won't be stepping foot on those oversized surf-boards again. I mean, I thought dealing with Russians was cray-cray but...try a Polish-Canadian. She tops the cake.

Yoda, 40-something (in dog years)

Riding bikes/attending concerts/getting mohawked

As an 11-pound mini poodle/Jack Russell rescue who could only be described as a "grumpy old man in training," I admit: riding in a basket on the back of my human's bike is not exactly my ideal way to spend an evening—but with places like Crux practically inviting my kind to post up and sniff butts every evening, it happens a lot. The wind in my ample head hair is nice, and since riding in that basket, with a bungee cord holding me in, means I get to stay with my human, I can live with it. Sure, we may roll up to an outdoor concert where loud noises force me to hide my nose in my human's armpit, but it's better than being left alone at home.

What really chaps my dog behind, however, is being anthropomorphized into a human skater dude. I am a grumpy old man-dog in training, not a young punk who wants to sport a rainbow mohawk around town, practically inviting every dog lover around to pet me. Did you see me at Pride? Jeesh, people. Paws off! And get off my lawn!

Since this is my soapbox, I conclude with this: If you're going to fawn over my mohawk at the next outdoor event, at least have the decency to bring me a treat.

Maisy Rae Archer, 60-something (in dog years)

Wearing human clothes

I don't know why these crazy ladies keep shoving me into t-shirts. I'm an old lady PomChi and I just want to be free to lounge around in front of the heater/air conditioner. The first time the black-haired one shoved my little sausage body into a shirt it was because I had a hot spot from scratching. Sometimes you just have an itch to scratch and she wouldn't let me! Back then it was winter time and I didn't mind quite so much, though going to the loo was a bit inconvenient. 

Again, this week the black-haired one outfitted me with a t-shirt that belongs to the tiniest human. It says "Sleep Under the Stars." Why would I want to do that!? I prefer sleeping under the covers, as close to my mom's face as caninely possible. Sure, the black-haired one feeds me and scratches me behind the ears endlessly (just the way I prefer, I often force my little face into her hand while she's watching the big thing on the wall with moving pictures). But that doesn't mean I want to wear a toddler t-shirt. 

I'm not going to say I don't love partaking in human activities. I love riding in the car in what mom and the black-haired one call my "fortress of solitude" (the space between the backseat and the window). I love eating anything the tiny one drops on the floor. But when the black-haired one busts out a t-shirt for me to sport, preventing me from living my gosh darn life the way I want to, I'm not into it. Sheesh, I wish my mom's roommate would dress up the cat. That young fella deserves some of the torture, too.

Look for the human version of the 20/40/60 feature, featuring three generations of Source staffers trying out a new activity, the third week of each month.

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