1. Do you really love us that much or is there food on our lips?
2. Shelties are supposed to be really smart. So why haven’t you figured out that you are a growing boy and you now risk head injury when you try to zip under the coffee table while you’re racing around the living room for no apparent reason?
3. Why do you race around the living room for no apparent reason?
5. You no longer have to share your food with other puppies. So could you stop going on little field trips with each individual nugget of kibble?
6. You’re a herding dog. So why do you like being chased?
7. Why do you have more followers on your Instagram account than I have for my blog? You are a dog. What can you possibly have to say of interest?*
9. That is your food. This is a toe. Got it?
10. Aw, come on, Riley…won’t you sit for daddy?
11. I notice that your tail curls up over your back when you pee, but arcs behind you when you poop. Does that have some evolutionary function in the wild, or are you just going for style points?
12. I admire your ambition, but please realize that you’re a good 2-3 weeks away from being able to jump onto the couch. In the meantime, can you please stop attempting it so that you bounce off the sofa and land on your back?
13. Would you like a pair of cleats or do you enjoy sliding down the hallway on the wood floor?
14. What the hell are you sniffing?
15. Jeez, Riley, should I just throw the toy away and give you the tag?
16. Exactly how fear-inducing do you think that little bark is?
17. Are you actually going to tug on that pull toy or do you just want me to drag you around while you growl?
18. Are you going to let go of my pants cuff or do you just want me to drag you around while you growl?
20. It’s your tail, you idiot! It’s attached to you, see?
21. Do you understand why that dog out on the deck disappears when I open the sliding glass door?
22. Do you prefer The New York Post or The New York Times?
23. Which do you like better, squeaky monkey or squeaky squirrel?
25. Will you be very disappointed when the ice cube you stashed in the cave you made for yourself under the kitchen table isn’t there later? Or have you already forgotten about it?
26. Please don’t stick your nose through the holes in the gate. Don’t you know you’re a sheltie and your nose will get long enough as it is?
27. What in the world makes you think that’s edible?
28. About all that carrying on after mom gave you a bath…WTF?
30. Why don’t you understand that I can’t throw the ball again unless you give it back to me?
31A. Can I leave you here for a minute while I go to the bathroom?
31B. Riley? I was just gone a minute. Where did you go?
31C. What are you doing in there?
32. You’re a good boy, Riley, but we’re running out of newspaper. Can’t you finish before I pick it up?**
33. Aren’t you tired yet?
34. Mom really likes when you sit in her lap at night. So why are you on top of her head?
35. You know how cute you are, don’t you?
*He really does: @rileypupgram
**This is serious. Literally as I was writing this post, I received the following email from my wife, who’s a real estate agent: “I noticed a bin of newspapers at the open house I’m at. I asked owner if it was recycling. JACKPOT!” Thank goodness I haven’t succumbed to reading the newspapers online.