Thursday, June 29, 2006

Man's Best Friend

They say that dog is Man’s best friend. Why? Probably because dogs are less intelligent than men (though not by much). We men like dogs because we feel superior when we’re with them. It’s the same reason that women marry us.

I’ll give you a few examples of how dogs make us feel superior. When I was a kid we had a pug named Penny. Whenever anyone would come to the door, she’d run in circles, blow chunks, and eat it. Owning a dog like her will make anyone feel better about themself. (“Well, I might occasionally wake up in a puddle of my own vomit, but at least I don’t eat it.”)

I once had a dog named Smokey. When he was in the back yard, he’d stare at the door for six, maybe seven hours at a time, thinking that this would make it open. When my wife or I finally opened it, he thought, “Hey! It worked again!!”

Dogs require care: food, water, exercise, companionship and grooming. I am a fanatic when it comes to grooming. Not only do I brush my dogs’ coat, clip and file their nails, and bathe them, but I also brush their teeth. The notion of brushing your dog’s teeth may seem silly at first, but then again, the idea of brushing human teeth wasn’t exactly embraced at first either. Imagine a bunch of Pilgrims at Thanksgiving dinner. They’ve just finished eating with what few teeth they have remaining and now they’re sitting around talking, gums bleeding, emitting breath so bad that flies won’t go near them. Suddenly one of them pulls out a small stick and starts rubbing his teeth with it.

Jebediah: “What are ye doing, Amos?”
Amos:      “Yea, I am brushing my teeth.”
Jebediah: “You’re what?”
Amos:      “I am brushing my teeth, for otherwise bacteria
                shall afflict me with pyorrhea and make it
                obvious that I am from England.”
Jebediah: “Lo, and just what are bacteria?”
Amos:      “Very tiny organisms that you can’t see
                but that live all over our flesh.”
Jebediah: “Witch!”

Be selective about the veterinarian you choose. Remember that in every medical class, fifty percent of the students graduate in the bottom half. Most people like to delude themselves that their doctor or vet was one of the top few in his or her class, but that stroke of luck is the exception rather than the rule. Many doctors and vets were actually among the bottom few, and they’re out there practicing medicine. Doesn’t that give you a feeling of confidence in the medical field?

Don’t buy a dog (or cat) from a pet store, because these places charge a lot of money and sometimes the animals come from unscrupulous breeders. SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals) shelters are good places for finding a family pet. They typically keep dogs and cats for as long as possible (until they run out of space) and then put the oldest or longest-kept animals to sleep when they have to make room for new ones. I wonder if we could control human overpopulation this way. That is, whenever a baby is born, an old person has to get the axe. If we were to make this public policy, I would father as many children as possible. Then I could say things like, “There’s Timmy, my youngest. Thanks to him we’re rid of Trent Lott.”