Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dog Thoughts

Today, we're going to comemmorate a Very Important Milestone in my life. We're going to celebrate an event of stupendous importance, akin to my losing my virginity. In short, we're going to celebrate that I now have eight followers on this site. As Patton said upon breaking through Nazi lines and relieving the 101st Airborne at Bastone, "woo hoo!" There's eight of you out there who apparently like my skewed view of the world, which means your lives are emptier and less meaningful than mine. And I live in a basement. So we're going to celebrate by discussing a subject near and dear to my heart. Dogs.

I'm sitting here quaffing Mountain Dew Code Red from my favorite crystal goblet, and peering out my window, and I see dogs. Now New Yorkers love their dogs. It seems as though everyone has one (except me, since they tend to conflict with my pet Iguana, Izzy). I don't understand why the dog is so popular in a city where the average apartment size would be too small for Kate Moss to wear on the fashion runways of Paris, but they are. It would seem to me that cats would make more sense, but cats are evil so I understand.

I've had several dogs in my life, and they've been better friends than most of my friends. There's nothing like coming home and having a large furry thing wagging its tail at you. I've been married, come home bellowing "Hi honey, I'm home!" only to be told to take out the trash. See, dogs don't do that. They're genuinely happy to see you. And not because you're going to feed them (which is really all a cat wants from you). A dog is sincerely happy to have you back from wherever it was you were.

See, dogs have a pack mentality. They're only really happy -- psychically speaking -- in a group. They take comfort in being a part of the pack. They feel safer. And, for better or worse, they consider you a member of their pack. When you come home from work, you're dog is saying "whew!" and then saying "let's play fetch!"

There is no artifice in a dog. A dog won't pretend to like you because he wants you to take him to Pastis for dinner. He won't insist on you buying him a Fendi bag before you play tug of war with an old sock. You pretty much know where you stand with a dog. Because they generally think in single words. "Food, food, food, food," "walk, walk, walk, walk," and "sock, sock, sock, sock" are pretty much all that's going on in your dog's head.

I knew a dog that would get so happy, he would wag his tail so hard that he broke it. Imagine that. He didn't wag it into something. He would just wag it hard enough to break it. He'd wag his tail bloody. That's happiness. Imagine if, when your aunt Eunice came over, you got so happy you got a nosebleed. There's a purity to a dog's emotions, and that purity is embodied in a wet nose and slobbery pink tongue.

Which is why I get so angry about New York dogs. Not because they're trapped in tiny apartments, but because of what their owners do to them. There are two phenomena I'm thinking about: The Purse Dog and the Dressed Dog.

The Purse Dog is directly attributable to Paris Hilton. I hope she burns in Hell, not for her sex tape (which wasn't really that hot) or her inane TV show, but for Tinkerbell. Dogs shouldn't be treated as fashion accessories and they shouldn't be carried about in handbags. That dog in the purse is really in a tiny, fake Louis Vuitton prison. And he wants out. To run along the street, gleefully sniffing fire hydrants and competitively peeing (which, by the way, should be an Olympic event. Competitive peeing.).

What really triggered today's article is the Dressed Dog. It's raining outside right now, and I've seen dozens of dogs pass by wearing little coats. First, the dog doesn't want to be out in the rain any more then their humans do. Every dog I've ever had, upon discovering it was raining outside, either thought "I'll hold it" and gone back inside, or did his business as fast as he could. So making your dog walk 12 blocks just because you think he needs the exercise is mean. I just saw one dog stop for shelter at a phone booth, and refused to leave; his human was straining on the leash to get him to walk, but Fido was perfectly happy to stay where he was all night long. Because he was done with what he was supposed to do and wanted to go home for a Beggin' Strip.

Second, I get that the little doggie coat is supposed to keep the dog dry, because no one likes the smell of wet dog. But what about the non-raining times? I've seen dogs with little sweaters and little snow parkas and even little hats. They don't need that. They have fur. That's why God gave them fur -- to keep them warm. People just like to dress up Fifi and Fido, as though they were children.

I think that if the first wolf realized the ultimate consequences of domestication for his descendants, he would have ripped out Zog the Caveman's throat and been done with it. But I'm glad he didn't. Because I like big, slobbery face licking. From a dog, anyway.

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