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I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. (Rita Rudner) Going to the dogs.

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.

(Rita Rudner)

Going to the dogs.

According to many people, Canada is “going to the dogs.” If we accept that premise, logic suggests, we consider a dog’s point of view to stop this headlong fall, eh?

We should also consider the distinct possibility the people quoted haven’t really talked with their dogs — talked to them maybe, but not with them.

If they had, they would surely be instant celebrities with their own “dog and pony” show in and on every television circus media available.

Risky though, eh? I mean those marketing spin doctors would turn your dog into the star, and there you’d be “living a dog’s life.”

Which would add merit to Edward Hoagland’s belief, that “In order to really enjoy a dog one doesn’t need to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.”

Some children can come closer to most adults at imitating their pup, although I doubt they would all agree with humourist Robert Benchley’s choice of the ideal dogs for them.

“Dachshunds,” he said, “are ideal dogs for small children, as they are already stretched and pulled to such a length that the child cannot do much harm one way or the other.”

Andy Rooney, believes “the average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”  OK, Mr. Rooney, but kids delivering newspapers, postal people, and meter readers who’ve had their skin chewed more than once, and burglars who’ve met Dobermans in the black of night, would disagree.

Yet there is merit in the thought from anonymous, that, “The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.”

Some, or maybe all, of our leaders, in all fields of endeavour, might find that thought useful, although I suspect the opposite to be the case.

Too many of them seem to harbour a tendency to put ‘we the public’ in the category of the listeners in Dave Barry’s observation: “You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right, I never thought of that!’”

To those, whoever you are, who might lean in that direction, I suggest you should remember anonymous’ words: “A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than an owner can express with his tongue in hours,” and couple that with Ann Landers’ doggie advice: “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”

Living in a world of pollsters polling everyone and everything, with their 19 times out of 23 times out of 10, or whatever, I present a much simpler, and more economical solution for public figures seeking guidance: “If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”

The inimitable Robbie Burns apparently had a dog named Thurlow. The story goes that when he was a revenue officer he would encourage Thurlow, well-known throughout the countryside, to run a quarter of a mile ahead of him so the moonshiners would be warned of his approach.

Obviously bureaucracy didn’t fit Robbie Burns as well as ladies, a jar or two, and poetry. Aren’t we more merrier for having him, and his dog Thurlow who kept some jars from ‘persecution’, while keeping to their principles? 

A belated tip of a wee jar of single malt to Robbie Burns and his dog.

To wrap up this going to the dogs, more thoughts courtesy of anonymous:      

“If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise.”

“Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of his tail.”

“Some days you’re the dog; some days you’re the hydrant.”

“Things that upset a terrier may pass virtually unnoticed by a Great Dane.”

“In dog years, I’m dead.”

“A man may smile and bid you hail yet wish you to the devil;

But when a good dog wags his tail,

You know he’s on the level.”

A tip of the hat to some dogs we have known, and loved: Patches, Pogo, Pixie, Bill, Dease, Gorgeous, Tara, Turbo, Penny, Chopper, Ellie, Willow and Sheena.

A second tip of  the hat to all Yukon dogs, and to Gene Hill for this final thought, “Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.”

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