We've only had our little Tibetan Terrier Cross Holly for about 3 months but have both been experiencing a strange sense of deja-vue in her behaviour and our responses to her behaviour. This increasingly puzzling feeling was suddenly resolved yesterday when we found her fast asleep with a tattered, dog-eared (literally) document which showed signs of having been buried in the garden.
I quietly prised this odd looking manuscript away from her and it quickly became apparent it was some sort of secret manual that was not intended for our eyes - a dogument.
Below I reproduce some extracts:
The Book of Ancient Tibetan Lore
"You are lucky enough to have been born with Tibetan Genes. Tibetan genes make you the Independent, Curious, Stubborn, Highly Intelligent, Mischievous, Precocious, Bossy, Strong-Minded, Courageous dog you are. Think no flower above you!
To guide you on your way through life, here are some key insights that I, your Great Uncle Oz, have gathered from over the Tibetan centuries."
In general terms, we do not do useful! I term useful as things such as carrying a newspaper, emptying a washer, fetching slippers, finding anything that is lost, but we do have a job to do.
Your ancient ancestors were guarders of flocks. Today we protect our families, as well as their lap-tops, i-Phones and fridges. To do this we use are very special skill, Barking.
Barking is a prized, revered characteristic of the Tibetan. It can be done at any time of the day or night. General, none specific barking keeps everyone on their toes.
Specific barking can be aimed at any stranger or noise, anything which is odd or looks at you in a “funny way” or which you take exception to – post boxes, hot air balloons, hay stacks, traffic cones, litter bins …
School is known as “dog training bipeds“ although the word “bipeds“ is normally omitted so the word “training“ is misunderstood to be a noun not a verb.
Whilst at school respond quickly to all commands, look interested and watch all that is going on. You will be held up as the intelligent, quick learner you are. Once home forget everything unless high value treats are offered.
Treat all other dogs with suspicion - never offer the benefit of the doubt. Confront them before they have a chance to attack. If in doubt bark, in fact always bark.
Always dig your basket before retiring, to disturb the snakes. We sleep in the bedroom. On no account permit them to leave you downstairs.
Storing special things
Dig soft earth or gravel deep with paws, cover over with nose, reclaim at leisure.
Anyone not living in the house
Big black dogs (unless they have white chests)
Hot Air Balloons
The rights of a Tibetan are endless and more should be added to this list wherever possible. Bipeds love ritual, so are easily trainable.
Cups of Tea. If they are making a cup of tea or coffee, especially if having a biscuit with it, you must be given a biscuit of your own. Build this up so that if the lady biped goes upstairs, you expect a treat when she comes down.
Leaving house. If they dare to leave you at home, you must be given treats. You can then relax, but make sure they think you have been pining the whole time. Barking when you hear the car is a good ploy as they won’t know if you have been barking the whole time or not.
Follow them out of room in the evening, just in case. If they are sneaking into the kitchen for a biscuit, they will feel so guilty they have to give you one as well.
Put mini-bipeds in their place early. Ignore constant name shouting. A highchair is a good food source. Position yourself under one for maximum spills.
The kitchen is the home of the Tibetan. We are the John Torode of the Dog World.
Offer to supervise the cooking at all times. Position yourself in the centre of the kitchen Tibetan Work Triangle, between the cooker, sink and fridge. Fix the biped preparing a meal with a gaze that is unwavering. You should then be hand fed little tasty morsels.
If you manage the ultimate, a tripover whilst they are carrying food, get in quick while they are still unsettled and before the rude words ensue.
One of the few times you will see the man biped in the Tibetan Work Triangle is when he is carving. It is his sole contribution to feeding the household. At the sound of the carving equipment sit attentively, with a look which suggests he has just brought down a wildebeast with his bare hands (unlikely owing to his terror of cows). The whole process is drawn out, but you will be fed tasty meaty morsels.
Sit near the man biped while he is eating, as more things are likely to end up on the floor than with the lady biped.
You can show interest in games. We have good ball skills, but tedious running back and forth is pointless. Make sure they are the ones retrieving.
When you see champagne, or more likely sparkling wine, appearing from the fridge, beware! It is more than likely that “silliness” will ensue and someone will trip over you when you didn’t mean them to.
You will be most at home on rocks and high places. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in the flat lands of Norfolk, even the edge of a kerb will give you a feeling of height. Always take the high road. The top of the stairs is a useful vantage point. Halfway down is even better as you are also in the way.
A necessary evil. Usually you will find yourself at somewhere more interesting than you started, but do not make the journey easy. Huffing is a useful Tibetan skill. The lady biped will start fussing and make the man biped stop the car at the earliest chance. Make sure you refuse water and preferably don’t do a wee. You can then repeat the huffing after a few more miles.
As a matter of principle, view suitcases with the utmost suspicion.
Fresh horse poo is a great delicacy. Rabbit poo is ok as an everyday snack. Cat poo is good, and really winds up the bipeds for some reason.
Readily available, quality food is the reason we allow ourselves to live with bipeds. We can feed ourselves in the wild, but the convenience of three meals a day, plus snacks, is too attractive to ignore, but you must keep up standards.
Evening meal should be served promptly at 5pm. Do not accept any later.
They will try ritual humiliation when serving food. You are permitted to do a “sit” and “wait” but introduce barking to reinforce the fact that you are only humouring them, and limit the “wait” to a maximum of 50 nanoseconds.
Puddings. A bowl of food is not sufficient reward for all our hard work. After lunch and tea you should be offered a chew which takes a good few minutes to eat.
Tuna. It is a little known fact that despite being in a land locked country, our ancient Tibetan ancestors used to run tuna fleets. Tuna, and all things fishy are prized food and you are permitted to do a slightly longer “wait” when it is available (100 nanoseconds). A bout of sickness and diarrhoea is usually guaranteed to elicit bowls of rice and fish, so don’t hold back on enjoying the odd dodgy, decaying item from a hedge.
Getting in the way
An entertaining past time. Position yourself in any walkway, especially a place where they pass by frequently. Doorways are prime target areas. Do not move, they will not tread on you. The double whammy is to jump up, just as they are stepping over you.
On a Walk
Aim to walk in the middle of the road. They will try and move you back to the pavement, but a Tibetan has the right to be centre stage.
Something not taught in School is the lead trick. You and the lead holder are walking in the same direction. You go to one side of a post, they go to the other. Do not move when they suggest you come back. It is their role to return and walk around your side of the post, so you can both move on. This is worth 5 points each time.
When walking around the edge of a field, save time by using the hypotenuse. Let those without your sharp geometry skills take the longer route - remember, they are the squares on the two adjacent sides.
Grandmothers are like the lady biped of the house, but better. They don’t feel any need to train you or stick to rules. Once any biped grandchildren have grown-up, they love to indulge you as a furry child. Exploit this by always making a fuss of them, following them while they are eating, and look cute at any opportunity.
Follow the Tibetan Lore and keep it secret from the unfavoured breeds, for ours, young Tibetan, is the kingdom, the power and the glory!