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Dogs Not This Man’s Best Friend

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A while ago I wrote about my disenchantment with dogs. I realize, of course that 75 percent of our readers believe that dogs qualify as man’s best friend and not wishing to alienate or distance those folks, I’m not of that ilk. I recounted the experiences of seven acquaintances with various breeds that came and went for reasons varying from disease to distrust and villainy to vile manners. The last acquisition was a poodle cross with a shih-tzu or shih-poo named Millie, a completely useless white, lazy, ball of tightly curled fluff. Her jet black eyes stare blankly from holes deeply ensconced in a face full of fur. A snooted nose protrudes rudely at one end of the animal accented with the ugliest underbite, the result of greedy commercial in-breeding; a ventriloquist’s dummy is the lasting impression! The word ‘dummy’ here conveys more than you think; three bricks would have more sense than this canine conundrum. Affection is conferred upon her from all other members of the family from playful chase to idle petting while watching TV. This affection is returned in like form, rolling over to expose an awk- ward pink underside for a belly rub – and that’s just for the dog! I should enjoy such ministrations! Meanwhile, I ignore the dog and she does me the kindness of returning the favor. We hardly ever acknowledge either’s presence unless I’m kicking her out the back door to the patio for potty purposes. She’s also the laziest critter on four legs. At night she resides in a metal kennel, a cage in other words. Now lest you get the impression of imprisoned penury, let me assure you that my wife has rendered this enclosure to resemble a ‘Hound Hilton’, a cosseted canine cavern, lavished with cushions, blankets and a colorful cover for nighttime privacy. The whole is housed in our bed- room and left to her own de-vices, she’ll happily lounge in there till after midday when bodily necessities dictate her levee and exit. Millie has reached the ripe old age of three. I therefore have another ten years of forbearance yet to exercise, as this one’s going nowhere. Now I suppose you think that I have embraced my tol- erance and that no further test of my lack of animal at- traction exists. Poppycock! My eldest daughter recently acquired a dog of her own to share with our grandson. We spend a good deal of time with him what with school runs, stay overs and the like. So by default the dog is a frequent visitor. Is this some scruffy mutt to entertain with not a care in the world? Not a bit of it. This new attachment is a French bulldog – a hugely expensive “blue” French bulldog, the cost of which is in indirect proportion to the attractiveness of this aberration of dog design. Ugly doesn’t even come close! First, it looks like it walked into a wall, resulting in a concertina-like face and a spread-eagled nose with flared nostrils in the style of a Maserati. I would swear that, at some point in its unfortunate development, an introduction of bat DNA was introduced into one side of the double helix. Its ears are the size of NASA space satellites and can almost move independently, twitching eerily (sorry) at the least noise or movement. The final insult to its almost furless physiognomy are the eyes - they’re blue-grey! They stare, hauntingly and suspiciously at all around, out of proportion to the rest of the dog, icily assessing whether to nip at your ankles or go straight for the jugular vein. Its body is as solid as a rock – pushing, shoving muscle covered in the skimpiest of mole-like fur. Still just a pup- py, it’s as clumsy as a new driver, running into things while ignoring the effects of its collisions. The new cof- fee table, hard won from the furor of furniture shopping, now a teething ring aiding in the formation of fangs. One thinks of a French bulldog having a cocky French name; Henri, Monsieur Tatti, Vlon Vlon or the like. No. It’s called Kevin – very millennial! To add final insult to injury, it takes its toilet just like folks from its country of origin – anywhere it pleases. What was that expression about dogs and Frenchmen?  
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Tony Moorby

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