Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Doghouse resident

Published:Monday | October 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM

It's the place that nobody, especially a guy wants to be - the doghouse.

After a friend of mine explained how he got into the doghouse, it dawned on me that I had no idea where the phrase came from. And the more I thought about that, the more I wondered why doghouse is a metaphor for being in trouble. Have you seen some doghouses? Dem bigga than the quarters that the helper and butler have. Probably all have AC in deh. I understand that the pet, whether it's a dog, puss or bullfrog, should be treated like part of the family as long as they live there, but look ya man! Sometimes the pets get better treatment than the children.

But I digress. Time to go back to my point about how the doghouse became a place with such a negative connotation. I did some searching (online of course, because delving through old papers will trigger my asthma). And there are a few possibilities. According to, one theory is that on slave ships, seamen slept in rough shelters on deck called doghouses because they were uncomfortable. Another possibility it cited was a reference to the book Peter Pan where a character literally had to stay in a doghouse because he treated the dog poorly. Of course, the website pointed out it might really just come from how owners banish the delinquent doggie to its corner after doing something bad.

The real unfortunate dogs I've seen don't have a house though. In fact, they don't even have an owner. Whichever pot something is being thrown away from, they present themselves most hurriedly. I guess when you're not sure where your next meal is coming from, it prompts you to move post-haste. On the other end of the scale, however, forget about scraps from the table and Kibbles 'n Bits, some dogs are getting caviar. What a stress!




As it relates to the men folk, though, how come we're the ones always in the canine castle? Even if it was the fair maiden who started the argument, somehow it's the man who ends up fighting for space with Fido. At the very least, they end up on the couch. Pray it's in good condition or you're not too tall, otherwise you're in for some rough nights. How much for a good chiropractor? But the world is not level. A guy gets mad at his girl, she's in the doghouse (or perhaps the kitty litter box?) for maybe a day. More than likely, it's even less than that. But the man goes in the mutt motel, he's there longer than a convicted serial killer. Sigh.

I demand more doghouse time for the women. It takes two to cause an argument. So it cannot be that the man is always automatically wrong. We want justice - probably not going to get it, but I can demand just the same. Of course, the gents need to do better. Once you're out the Labrador lounge, behave like a regular parolee would. Because as you squint, you're right back in there. Ruff!

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