I think my dog, Zoey, wishes she had thumbs. For now, she has wicked claws on either side of her two front paws that curl, as if she’s holstering daggers like an old-school Arabian warrior.
If Zoey had opposable thumbs, I think she’d drag a kitchen barstool over to the fridge and raid the meat and cheese drawer several times a day. She’d ransack the pantry and get her own snacks and treats without having to perform first.
With thumbs, Zoey could fix her sweaters when she steps wrong and misses an armhole. Sometimes this leaves her wearing what looks like a one-armed knitted toga or a black and white strapless, or even a skirt without a top, which is just plain scandalous. She wouldn’t be above stealing cashmere sweaters from my closet or anything else of mine that is toasty, soft, and warm like socks.
During the winter months, I don’t bathe her like I do when the sun is out. This results in long periods of uncleanliness and stench that embarrasses her.
She sits on my knees, head bowed, muzzle pointed at her chest, ears down, shaking and looking up at me. Her expression is of shame as if she’s thinking, “Look away! I stink! I’m a monster!”
Then I feel bad and take her to the kitchen sink. I fill it with warm soapy water. I place her inside and leave the faucet running on sprayer mode.
Zoey with thumbs would probably draw her own bath, filled with Epsom salts and essential oils—something along the lines of orange blossom and vanilla. She’d lean on the sides of the sink with her two front paws out, her bottom half submerged and watch out the kitchen window for birds on the backyard fence or mothers pushing strollers down the street. She wouldn’t wait until her body aroma overpowered us all.
I picture her with her own vanity set; a silver metal mirror and matching horsehair brush she’d keep on my dresser. She’d comb through her fur every night counting a hundred brushes from ears to tail before coiling up on the goose-down comforter she stole from my bed.
My dog suffers from thumb remorse. I bet she wishes she could drive the car and go from fast food restaurant to fast food restaurant—because that’s all I seem to do when I leave the house without her.
She’d drive a car and be meticulous about it, stopping at stoplights, staying the speed limit. She’d blast the heat, turn up the seat warmer and keep all the windows rolled down. I think she’d be a good driver, as long as teenage boys aren’t getting off a bus somewhere close where she could aim at them with the front of my car.
Zoey wouldn’t run errands though—no dropping off or picking my son up from school or stopping at the grocery store for a gallon of milk. She’d do what every typical lady of leisure in the suburbs does and go to Starbucks.
Instead of having to be tied to a metal table leg outside, Zoey would go inside Starbucks. She would order a Grande of nothing but whipped cream, and she’d sit at the round table in the corner—the one where two wall-sized windows butt together.
She’d sit with her back towards the rear of the store, and her head pointed at the entrance and watch through the glass for magpies and people on the streets. If my canine had thumbs, life would be sooo sweet!