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The QueueSep 10, 2021 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: This is a Queue about dogs

Really, what more is there to say?


Q4tQ: What constitutes a perfect day at the Faire for you?

Most days of it, I’ll go on the rollercoaster and/or the merry-go-round (usually both), see a gig (either BB or ETC), and /purr at the lions. And then happily hearthstone out. I love that place so much /purr

All I need is a ride on the carousel, both because the carousel is the most practical thing in the Faire and also because carousels, in general, are just pretty great. You get to ride around in slow, pleasant circles and survey the world around you, and you also get to ride on an awesome horse or gryphon or dragon. That’s pretty great! It’s all pretty great!

I do love roller coasters (real and fictional), but carousels are just, you know, pretty great.


I still want the option to wear a bow on my tail.

I hadn’t thought about this until you mentioned it, but now I really want it.


Which Blizzard property is most worthy of a ridiculous 80s-style animated intro?

I’m going to vote Overwatch. The show has such a large cast of colorful characters and interesting, fleshed-out locations that offer lots of opportunities for great, bombastic visuals. You could say the same for Heroes of the Storm, but I think it actually has too much of a cast and it would just turn into a character parade over a bland background.


Q4Liz: how hard is it to take care of a dog if you’ve never owned any pets (other than a fish at some point)? Asking for a friend.

Would it be more reasonable for my friend to get a cat instead?

Dogs do require ongoing care and attention, and they will take time out of your day. In exchange for your troubles, they’ll be your friend, they’ll keep you company, they’ll cheer you up when you’re sad. They will add new kinds of trouble to your life, but who doesn’t need a bit of trouble?

But getting a dog — or any pet — is a real commitment. You’re with your doggo for life. You have to train them, feed them, walk them, play with them, groom them, take them to the vet, be sure they get regular vaccinations and medications, and make sure they stay out of dangerous situations because they don’t know any better. You have to be patient with them, because they don’t understand all of these weird words you’re saying to them and that isn’t their fault. Not gonna lie, a dog will suck up a lot of your time – and potentially money, too.

This is a usual day with my senior pup, Abigail: She gets breakfast with her medication (three pills) around 9am. She gets a dental treat around noon, and usually a ball full of kibble to chase around later in the day. Dinner (and more pills) are around 8pm. She’s usually antsy after breakfast but before her noon treat because she wants her treat right now, but as soon as she’s had it she inevitably settles down for a nap.

Dogs get used to schedules and routines, and Abby is acutely aware of what time it is. She will start watching me closely an hour before dinner time, trying to get my attention and saying she wants something. Even when daylight savings time comes or goes, she always stares at me with that look that says I want something at around 7pm. It’s as good as setting an alarm.

We go out in the back yard a half dozen times a day, and sometimes she refuses to go out unless I go with her. (This happens most often during raid time, when she is sometimes extra fussy because she can just tell that I am not available to focus my full attention on her.) We don’t go on walks, mostly because she’s slowed down at her age.

Some afternoons I’ll brush her, but not on any kind of consistent schedule. She isn’t a breed that needs a lot of grooming, though, and some particularly fluffy or shaggy dogs really should be brushed out every day or two. I used to take her to the groomer for a bath and a nail trim about once a month, but haven’t in a while because of Covid.

But Abby’s an older dog. We’ve been through potty training and generally learning house rules. She knows better to chew on anything in the house, and she asks to go out by tapping her paw on the door or on the leg of my chair. (I never actually taught her that; she figured it out herself as a way to get my attention.) She knows how to sit and stay (when she wants to). She does nip at my hand sometimes, but only when I’m holding a treat and she’s being overly enthusiastic and I’m being underly cautious.

If you get a younger dog, potty training is a thing that will take time. While they are learning, you want to take them out every hour or two, regularly, to not give them a chance to have an accident inside. Ideally you’ll keep them in a kennel or pen in the house, because they don’t want to make a mess of space they consider “theirs,” and gradually, as they improve, let them have free access to larger portions of the house. You need to keep an eye on them when they’re young and be sure to catch and interrupt any bad behavior — they won’t understand if they tear up a couch cushion and you scold them two hours later, but they will understand if you catch them in the act and scold them. The idea is to watch them and quickly intervene to stop bad behavior so bad habits don’t develop, while encouraging good behavior (whether you asked for it or not) with praise and treats. That takes a fair amount of time and attention.

They also need to be entertained. Some dogs — like Abby — are pretty happy to nap all day (and she’s happy to nap whether I give her a treat ball in the afternoon or not). Younger dogs and higher activity breeds will need walks and/or some specific playtime inside or outside. You want to provide them with things to do (like toys) so they don’t get bored, because a dog that’s bored or anxious can be destructive (and potentially tear up couch cushions). Dogs can have separation anxiety when left alone — some dogs don’t care, and some dogs get really antsy when they’re alone. (And some dogs are better with another dog or other companion in the house, so dogs are really the gateway drug to more dogs.)

It all depends on the dog, and you need to take time to find the right dog for your life and the time to learn about your dog, because they all have different needs. I wouldn’t say it’s hard, but it’s time consuming and paying for food, treats, toys, and vet visits can add a lot of expense — so be sure to think about whether you have the time and energy to look after a doggo.

In exchange, you’re going to get a really good friend. It’s a pretty fair trade in my opinion.

Cats I can’t offer advice on. I’ve never been the primary caretaker for a cat, while I’ve had several dogs.


Does calling my dog a super good boy instead of a good boy mean I have to give better treats?

Because you should always be giving your dog quality treats, I don’t think you need to upgrade the treats when you upgrade the praise. The praise is the upgrade.

(Though it isn’t a bad idea to keep some extra good treats for special occasions.)


You are presented with The Belly, how do you respond?

In the interests of fairness, I will close out the Queue with a cat.

I, personally, would apologize over Discord for missing raid night because my keyboard was being guarded by a fierce and fluffy creature that was either looking for affection or wanted to murder me, and I’m not willing to take chances. Then I’d drop my headset and run for it.

That’s all for now, friends. I hope you are all well on this Friday afternoon, and have a pleasant weekend planned. Remember, always, to pet your dogs and/or cats and/or other household critters that appreciate pets. I’ll see you back here next week.

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