I went to see a dog psychiatrist the other day. I did not even know there were such things as dog psychiatrists. She was a nice lady. She asked me how I was. I said, "you know ... it's a dog's life these days!"
She seemed concerned. She asked me, "how long have you felt like that?"
I said, "ever since I was a puppy!"
She said, "get on the couch."
I told her I was not allowed on the couch.
She asked me if I sleep well at night. Do I stay awake. Unable to sleep. Do I have nightmares. Do I howl at the moon.
She then said, "my husband is a psychiatrist too. He helps people, as opposed to animals which I do. Would you be interested in a group session? My husband and I, and you and your wife?"
I'm not so sure about that. I don't think having all four of us in bed together is a good idea, do you?
She then turned her attention to our dog Fetch. She asked me why I called him Fetch. I said it is to distinguish him from our other dog, Sit.
She said they were unusual names for dogs. "What did you call your children?" she asked.
"Hey you and Shut up," I replied.
She noticed that my dog had a calming effect on people. She took him out in the yard and put him with a massive ferocious Alsatian which was barking and growling all the time. I thought he'd eat our little Fetch. Instead, the Alsatian whimpered and sat down, yawned, and seemed to go to sleep. Our dog sat next to him.
She tried the same thing with another dog. A yappy little poodle jumping up and down like a demented fish. As soon as she put Fetch in the cage the poodle settled down calmly.
Same thing with two Dobermen. A Boxer and a Greyhound.
"What an amazing dog you have," she said, "he seems to have a calming effect on other dogs."
And that's how my dog now works for her, three days a week, as a Counselor. She puts him with other dogs who seem to become docile and gentle in his company. Maybe he talks to them. I don't know. He is earning more than me as a Counselor telling other dogs what they want to hear.
She suggested I take our dog Fetch to bed at night. "Many people sleep with their pets," she said, "it might help you sleep."
Definitely not for me. I once took my pet to bed with me. The next morning the bed was totally wet and my goldfish had died.