If you're not a Dog Person, you probably won't be able to fully appreciate this post, so you may want either to come back again tomorrow or to go back and read some older posts. Or you could read on and learn something, it's up to you.
Dogs have personalities, and they have inborn sets of rules* that seem to program their behavior. You will doubtless recognize the manifestations of these rules followed by your four-legged friend as he works assiduously to defend your home and yard ...
Newspapers: If you have to go to the bathroom while playing in the front yard, always use the newspaper that's placed in the driveway every morning for that purpose.
Visitors: Quickly determine which guest is afraid of dogs. Charge across the room, barking loudly and leap playfully on this person. If the human falls down on the floor and starts crying, lick his face and growl gently to show your concern.
Barking: Because you are a dog, you are expected to bark. So bark. A lot. Your humans will be very happy to hear you protecting their house. Especially late at night while they are sleeping safely in their beds. There is no more secure feeling for a human than to keep waking up in the middle of the night and hearing your protective bark, bark, bark...
Licking: Always take a big drink from your water dish immediately before licking your human. Humans prefer clean tongues. Be ready to fetch your human a towel.
Holes: Rather than digging one big hole in the middle of the yard and upsetting your human, dig a lot of smaller holes all over the yard so she won't notice. If you arrange a little pile of dirt on one side of each hole, maybe she'll think it's gophers. There are never enough holes in the ground. Strive daily to do your part to help correct this problem.
Doors: The area directly in front of a door is always reserved for you to sleep. This enables you to carefully monitor each human that goes in or out and, if you keep a careful count, you will know when it is safe to move up onto the couch (see couches below).
The Art of Sniffing: Humans like to be sniffed. Everywhere. It is your duty, as the family dog, to accommodate them.
Dining Etiquette: Always sit under the table at dinner, especially when there are guests, so you can clean up any food that falls on the floor. If no food falls on the floor, it is perfectly permissible to lay your head in the human's lap or nudge his leg to remind him that you're on duty. It's also a good time to practice your sniffing (see the art of sniffing, above).
Housebreaking: Housebreaking is very important to humans, so break as much of the house as possible.
Going for Walks: Rules of the road: When out for a walk with your human, never go to the bathroom on your own lawn. Make sure to use the neighbor's yard instead, and be sure to select a spot from which the neighbor can see you.
Couches: It is perfectly permissible to lie on the new couch after all your humans have gone to bed, or if they are out of the house. Who's to know?
Playing: If you lose your footing while chasing a ball or stick, use the flower bed to absorb your fall so you don't injure yourself.
Chasing Cats: When chasing cats, make sure you never quite catch them. It spoils all the fun.
Chewing: Make a contribution to the fashion industry ... eat a shoe. Just one. Your human will want the other one as a reminder of its lost twin.
Those are some of the basic rules for dogs. If you have a dog, you will probably recognize them and have others. Leave a comment about them.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.
* Thanks to my friend Bob, who sent me the original e-mail list on which this post is based.