My Dog Thinks He Is a Human


My 11-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer mix isn’t just part of my family, he is my family. I treat him like my baby boy, so it’s no surprise that he thinks he is a human. He proves this every day by his actions.

1. Riggins sits like a human

"Pardon me. I think you should rub my chest." (Photo by Wendy Newell)
“Pardon me. I think you should rub my chest.” (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins sits with his bum on the sofa seat, straight spine, looking around like that is perfectly normal. It does help that in the position, any human who happens to be near can easily rub his chest, one of his favorite things in the entire world. To help make this obvious, he will put his paws on your leg and push back as if to say, “Hey there, since you’re relaxing next to me doing nothing, why don’t you do something useful like pet me?”

2. He buckles up like a human

My sister's baby and my baby share the backseat ready for a road trip. (Photo by Wendy Newell)
My sister’s baby and my baby share the backseat during a road trip. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

If I ask Riggins if he wants to go for a ride, he jumps up and heads to the door. Of course he wants to go for a ride, especially if the other option is staying at home without his human. He makes a beeline for the car and waits at the back door behind the driver’s seat. THAT is the door he goes in, and don’t try to suggest he use another one. He jumps up and slides over behind the front passenger seat and sits pretty, looking over to make sure I know it’s time to buckle him in. If I skip this important safety step, Riggins will still stay in that same spot since, after all, that’s how humans ride in the car. Only an animal would wander back and forth on the back seat.

That is unless there is food in the car. In that case, all bets are off!

3. Riggins sleeps like a human

"Just five more minutes mom." (Photo by Wendy Newell)
“Just five more minutes, mom.” (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins prefers to sleep in his own bed at night, but he will share my bed in the early morning for a few hours of cuddling. He’s the perfect sleeping companion. I’ve always thought Lucy and Ricky had it right — individual beds means each person gets a good night’s sleep. I like to cuddle as much as the next person, but I like a solid eight hours of zzzs better!

Although Riggins does share my bed in the morning, he would prefer to have it all to himself. I think his favorite part of the day is when I get up and he has the human bed all to himself. And when he is in bed, he doesn’t curl up at the foot of the bed like a normal dog. Nope. My adorable mutt follows my lead and plops down, stretched out, with his head on a pillow.

4. He eats like a human

It’s no secret that Riggins will eat anything and everything edible. I swear he is never full and would eat until he popped if I let him. Even so, he manages to control himself when it comes to peels and rinds. One of our favorite shared snacks is oranges. I pull out two oranges since I know I’m going to have to share, then I cut up slices and sit down with my plate of vitamin C deliciousness.

I’ll hand Riggins a slice one at a time. He will take it carefully from my hand and then eat the pulp, leaving the peel, just like I do. When we are done, I have to walk around and pick up discarded orange zest smiles from his tasty treats.

He does the same thing with watermelon. That is when I actually slice it instead of our normal way of eating the fruit, which is cutting a small watermelon in half and just scooping it up with a spoon. One bite for Riggins, and then one bite for me. Back and forth until it’s gone or we are full (well, when I’m full, as we’ve already established Riggins doesn’t get full).

5. Riggins opens presents like a human

Who needs hands to open presents? Riggins has claws and teeth! (Photo by Wendy Newell)
Who needs hands to open presents? Riggins has claws and teeth! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

I’m not sure how Riggins figured out how to open presents, but now that he has, wrapped gifts are not safe near him. I have to store my Christmas gifts on a shelf or the mantel instead of under the tree where he can get to them. He even gets excited when he sees a gift, just like a human kid. He can’t wait to rip into it and find out what is inside.

6. Kiss like a human

Smooches for Grandpa. (Photo by Wendy Newell)
Smooches for Grandpa. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

I used to have to ask Riggins for kisses, but not anymore. Now I just put my face near him and pucker up. He knows the drill and will give me a big ol’ kiss right on the smacker! That is, after all, how the humans do it. Right?

I’m sure I’m not the only person whose dog thinks he’s a human. What humanlike behaviors do your dogs have? Let us know in the comments below.

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