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Begging and dogs (funny)

December 21st, 2006, 05:09 PM

Trying to Eat While a Dog Groaks You
by Bill Hall, Lewiston, Idaho Tribune, December 9, 1992

If you own a dog, you know what it's like to be groaked.

"Groak" is an old word meaning to stare at somebody longingly while he
is eating.

Dogs are the champion groakers of all time, and the most obnoxious. But the season, rather than the dog, reminds me of the word. There is an element of groaking in keeping up with the Joneses, which is a lot of what decides Christmas shopping purchases in any given year.

The neighbor's kid is going to get a little rubber troll with wild hair. And so if your kid doesn't get one, she'll be sitting outside the neighbor's picture window for days on end groaking the kid who did get one. Similarly, you buy your wife a pair of those elegant slippers with the flashlights built into the toes because you don't want her groaking all the other women in the neighborhood who will be getting them.

And more in keeping with the traditional meaning of the word, if I don't get at least a couple of chocolate chip cookies for Christmas I'm going to come over to your house and groak you while you eat yours. Anybody who would sit and stuff chocolate chip cookies into her face without sharing deserves to be groaked.

That is classic groaking in the canine manner. But in sad truth, I suppose the word groak may have come originally from heartfelt scenes of hungry children staring through the windows of restaurants watching others eat. But that has nothing to do with the groaking of dogs in this fortunate society. The sort of dog who groaks is the sort of dog who doesn't need the food. A truly hungry dog will go out and kill a garbage can. But a groaking dog doesn't do it to eat. He does it to irritate.

I have had several dogs who understood full well how difficult it is to eat while some slobbering simpleton stares earnestly at you with the look of a waif losing a fight with malnutrition.

I have had dogs so consistently inconsiderate about that sort of thing
that I made it a point to feed them first before sitting down to consume my own dinner. And of course, you know how much good that did.

It wasn't the food they wanted; it was the exasperation. It is not easy to eat with two pathetic, unblinking eyes focused on your every move. It isn't easy doing anything in that situation.

I have had dogs groak me while I was reading. And it wasn't the book they wanted. Dogs can't read. And they can't learn to read though I have heard otherwise sensible people talk about how smart dogs are without reflecting on the unassailable fact a dog can't read.

A dog groaks you while you are reading, not because it wants the words you are consuming, but because it wants the attention you are wasting on a book.

And it succeeds. Have you ever tried to read with two hot eyes a few inches from your face and a ripe breath in your face?

But the worst is food. A champion groaker will not only sit aimed straight at you in rapt attention as you eat, but it will follow the food with its eyes and the tilt of its head.

As you prepare to lift the food from the plate, the dog stares at the food on the plate.

As you lift a morsel toward your mouth, the tilt of the mutt's head follows, its eyes in unison with your every move.

As the food reaches your mouth and you pop it in, the dog focuses on your chewing mouth. And it isn't easy eating with a dog staring at your lips.

As you swallow, the dog's gaze meets your own with a how-could-you look, the dog's eyes water, the dog's mouth slobbers and the dog softly whines.

And of course, any decent person will do something about that. You must take the dog by the collar and walk it to the closet, locking it in there until dinner is over so the poor thing won't suffer so much.

The only other choice is to get up, give the dog your place at the table and go whine in the closet yourself.

And you might as well do that if you don't remove the dog from the room because nobody can enjoy his dinner with dog eyes following his every move.

The best sauce is hunger. The worst sauce is groaking.

December 21st, 2006, 05:48 PM
That's cute! My dad's lab does the following every bite of food bit. It's a bit disconcerting. Especially the pool of drool left behind on the floor.