Let me start by saying I LOVE football! I enjoy the team spirit, the crazy fans, the trick plays, everything! I’m the one sitting on the couch screaming at the team (and coach) wondering why in the world they aren’t listening to me since I clearly have a better handle on the game than they do. I would love to attend every game in person but I just don’t have the time or money. So I watch the game on TV, doing chores during commercial breaks and eating my homemade nachos.
No matter how much I love the game though, my dog hates it. He thinks it is ridiculous! No matter how hard I try to get him in the football spirit, he just simply will not approve of my obsession and let me tell you how I know.
Reason #1: Once I wrangle him into his jersey, he just sits there and refuses to cheer on the team. He mopes about the room sighing and giving me a pained look like I am torturing him into acting as a walking billboard for my team.
Reason #2: I won’t share my goodies with him. Like peanuts and Cracker Jacks go with baseball, beer and greasy nachos go with football. My dog will sit staring at me, begging for me to share my nachos, for the entire game but that just isn’t going to happen. I worked too hard and too long to make them just right, piling on the crispy chips, yummy onions, gooey chili, sticky cheese, and more. I won’t even share my beverage. Every time he tries to sneak just a sip of my beer I yell at him telling him that its mine and he can’t even have a sip! Call me selfish if you will but that’s just not gonna happen.
Reason #3: He gets embarrassed when I cheer and hides under the couch so he isn’t accidentally associated with the crazy football fan. I don’t get it! Doesn’t he know that yelling at those guys is half of the game! How else are the players going to know what to do if I don’t tell them!
Reason #4: The assorted memorabilia seems to offend him. He will try to shred every foam finger I dare bring into the house. Maybe he doesn’t like my team but destroying my foam finger makes it start to feel personal. Stick to the trash talking buddy, foam fingers are off limits! Do you see me destroying your squeaky toys?
Reason #5: He thinks my friends are really rude. Every time they come over he barks and when they holler at the refs he vocalizes his opposing view.
For these reasons I have decided to have a dog safe Super Bowl Paw-ty!
Here are my plans:
#1: If he doesn’t want to wear the jersey, he doesn’t have to. Forcing a dog to wear an outfit that makes him or her feel uncomfortable in isn’t a good idea. I will try to gauge his opinion of the outfit before forcing him to wear it. If he starts whining or moping around, it’s easy to tell he is uncomfortable and I will take it off.
#2: I will avoid non-dog friendly foods. Chips and dip are out since the salt and fat content is so high it could cause him problems if ingested. I’ll stick to boneless wings so I don’t have to worry he will sneak a bone since they can splinter and obstruct his bowels. Pigs in a blanket and pizza will the the stars of our menu this year. But he will still only get a couple nibbles. We’ve got to keep him fit and trim so he can run for some long passes at the dog park. I may even splurge and get him a dog safe brew so he can partake in the toasts to victory if he wants!
#3: He will have his own personal cheering zone where he can get away from all the commotion and cheer on his favorite team in a quieter environment. Being in the thick of all the yelling and screaming and jumping up and down can be overwhelming for dogs. So I want to make his game time just as enjoyable as mine. I’m sure he would rather watch the Puppy Bowl anyway!
#4: Foam fingers will be banned from the party. I don’t want my dog tearing one up and ingesting some of that foam and causing a painful blockage in his belly. Maybe some football themed squeaky toys?
#5: I will escort him to his private viewing box (aka his quiet cheering zone) before my friends arrive. The arrival of several new people can be a lot for my buddy to take in so helping him settle down before the party starts is just the thing to get things started in a paws-itive way.
So, no matter how crazy I think my dog may be for hating football I love him too much to make him suffer through the biggest game of the year. I want him to be happy and safe and knowing he is will make enjoying a big win all the more rewarding. He is, after all, my # 1 priority–though football may hold a close 2nd!