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Scott L Praegitzer    |     home
My Dog Jack
[This is an example of a "Classification Essay," using my dog as the subject.]

My Dog Jack

     To describe my dog Jack, I could best introduce you to him by telling you about: the annoying things he does, the cute things he does, and the bizarre things he does.
     I guess it could be said that the annoying behavior Jack displays could be just him being a dog and that it is only annoying to me because I tend to be a little impatient with him at times.  I am not privy to his thoughts and why he does particular things, especially his most annoying trait, sniffing everything he can while on walks.  We go on walks for one specific reason and I am typically anxious to get back to the apartment, either to continue with my studies or even perhaps just escape the rain and cold.  But Jack doesn't seem to care a bit; he could sniff for hours if I was tolerant enough to allow it.  His typical interest in sniffing tends to be to find just the right location to relieve himself, although what he is sniffing for I will never know or begin to understand.  I even asked a friend once, “is he sniffing to find a spot that he went before, to remark his territory, or is he sniffing to claim some other dogs' location?”  My query went unanswered.
     Another annoying trait Jack has, and one that I always have to apologize for; is his habit of barking and growling (typically from a distance) at small children.  I have surmised by his “tone” that he simply doesn't understand that it is a little “person” he sees and not another small animal (like him, and thus he has to announce and claim his territory.)  He is a very, somewhat overly, friendly dog; so I don't think he is trying to be “mean.”  Of course, try explaining that to a little toddler with his or her mommy or daddy.  I have learned to hold him back or just go in another direction to avoid this embarrassing situation.
     The third most annoying trait Jack has is when he is constantly trying to get attention from me, usually when I am trying to do my school work at the computer.  He does this typically by bringing his “toy” to me and dropping it at my feet, usually just out of easy reach.  If I don't respond immediately he will dig and scratch at the toy until I am forced to either shout “STOP,” or give in and toss it down the hallway for him.  This will last awhile, but he generally gives up and is happy to nap on his pillow under my desk.
     In describing the cute things he does, those which make him most endearing to me, the first that comes to mind is his way of shaking his head back and forth and prancing around when we are playing fetch.  I think he does it to amuse me and ensure I will continue to play with him.  It sometimes works, and he is the one that ends up getting tired and retiring to the comfort of his special spot on the couch.
     The second cute thing Jack does is how he hides behind the couch and slyly peeks out when he wants me to play, “come and find me.”  He never ceases to get a smile out of me when he does this.
     The last thing I think that he does that I consider cute (albeit not very unique, I am sure) is his way of waking just enough from a sound sleep and rolling over on his back when I give him the slightest indication I might be willing to rub his belly.  He usually gets his wish too!
     My description of my dog Jack wouldn't be complete without relating some of the more “bizarre” habits he has.  The first one could easily cross over into the “annoying” category, but I find it more peculiar than anything.  The behavior I am referring to also happens on walks, and partially has to do with is sniffing - he always seems to find something to eat!  I have no clue or interest in finding out exactly what, and I always try and stop him - but he is relentless!  He is just hell-bent on chewing up and swallowing whatever it was that he found.
     Another of his bizarre behaviors has me baffled, as he only started doing it a few months ago.  Again, while on our walks and after he has “did his business,” he suddenly shuffles his back feet and sometimes even begins to bark!  I swear I am going to contact a “dog whisperer” soon to find out what the meaning of this is!  The only thing I can guess is that he is trying to clearly indicate that this area is his, and everyone else stay away!
     I guess the last thing (although there are a couple more) that really confuses me - and again, may be completely typical doggie behavior; is his habit of rubbing up against the low branches of a couple specific trees in the apartment complex.  Now I know dogs like to leave their scent in many different ways, but it's just the “expression” on his little face and the odd sounds he makes when doing it.  It is like he is getting some amount of physical pleasure from the act.  Most strange indeed!