Peculiar Pet Problem

I just finished my morning jaunt around my housing complex.  A brisk walk to bid a hearty ‘Good Morning’ to the world. That’s the great thing about where I live. There is only one entrance and exit to this little community, so you can wander along the streets without the noise and smell of traffic and maybe meet up with a couple of friends. Today I was lucky enough to meet up with Fran, Sebastian, Lola, and Mary Ellen. I did see Jasper but he was too far away to actually say ‘Hi’. Too bad for me, he was back in the house before I could tell him how fluffy he was looking this morning.

As you may have guessed, the friends I meet on my walk are dogs. Ladies, before you get all up in arms, look back. You will clearly see that I used male names as well as female. When I say dogs, I mean in the literal not figurative sense. I meet up with four-legged dogs, and I do know all their names. The thing is, I don’t know the names of the people who take them for their walks. Does this strike you as odd as it does me? Dog owners never introduce themselves.

It’s really quite funny. We are all neighbors and everything. So why do dog-people introduce the animals and not themselves. For those of you home-bodies who don’t take walks, (I sincerely hope you’re house trained), here’s what usually happens: I go walking along and, in the distance, see a human-dog couple. As the distance between us closes, the dog’s attention starts to focus on me. The human’s stays focused on the dog, and invariably asks the pooch, “Do you see someone?” This is kinda dumb for two reasons. First, the canine’s ears picked up and it started barking. Of course, something caught its attention. Second, what response do they expect to get? The dog can’t talk. Also, for all you dog people out there, no, I didn’t say the dog didn’t understand. I am quite sure your poochy pets understand every English word and in fact have a great vocabulary. They simply can not form the words. So, does ‘Arf’ mean yes, no, or “Duh! What am I blind? Of course, I see someone?” It’s a natural result of limited linguistic skills. But I am getting a bit off topic.

So, the distance between myself and the canine lessens and the inevitable happens. The human partner smiles and says, “Hi, this is {insert name here}” In reality I am no better. I usually respond, “Hi {insert name here}” and give him a pleasant scratch on the head. Next as the pooch succumbs to the pleasures of my fingernails, we two humans have a conversation about news, weather, politics, or which spray-paint is best for graffiti on concrete. (I live in an eclectic neighborhood)

I remember one of these more eclectic conversations I had about a month ago. A nice woman, whose name I still don’t know, has an extra fuzzy pooch aptly named Fuzzball. The dog looks like a white deflated basketball covered in overgrown bread mold. I casually mentioned the dog’s appearance and was told this type of dog is very useful. It seems you can attach a broom-handle to its collar and use it as dust-mop. Sheepdogs are not the only working dogs in this country. Who knew? But I digress

The point is, I am never given my neighbor’s names. For a long time, I thought I had moved into an area used exclusively by the witness relocation program. For a while, I would extend my hand and happily state, “Hi I’m Mr. Ohh!” I was usually met with gross indifference or the occasional, “I’m hgfhdjjsg,” in a low mumblely voice. I understand you might not be completely awake as I am at eight-o’clock in the morning, but asking you to remember your own name shouldn’t be that much trouble. I guess maybe it is.

Then an even stranger thought hit me. Maybe the canine revolution has begun. Dogs all over the world are using mind control to become the masters of this planet. I eventually rejected this idea. If dogs took over they wouldn’t want to rule us. All they’d want is more belly rubs, and they get that already. Why would they put forth the effort?

I spoke to some friends about all this, and amazingly they have noticed similar behaviors. They don’t know their neighbor’s names either.  It’s like a national phenomenon. People everywhere are defining themselves by their dogs. I could understand this if everyone had a name like Hollingsworth Carbuncle. But I googled it. There isn’t a Hollingsworth Carbuncle anywhere on the web. This gets more confusing every day. A comedian friend of mine once said, “Hey, maybe folks are hiding behind the pets because the dogs are smarter and cuter than they are.” But I don’t buy it.

My brain was getting so full of questions because of this when I was driven even further the line. I saw a bumper-sticker on a van which read, All My Children Have Four Legs. So, unless there’s some secret government genetic testing going on, I have to believe this person considers animals their children. That ‘pfft’ sound you hear is my mind being completely blown. I admit my kids act like animals sometimes, but I still find them preferable to dogs. They’re easier to talk to (most of the time).

On a related note, I also saw a bumper-sticker stating the owners grand children were dogs. Now does this mean they have human children with dogs, or their child-dog had puppies? Then there is the example of my aunt, who showed female dogs, and was extremely proud of the multiple plaques and ribbons boldly imprinted with, Dolly Ohh! Best Bitch. Are these stating her dogs are great, or her attitude when showing dogs is the worst. It could go either way.

Well, to solve this issue, I did research until my head throbbed and my eyes were red. (About three minutes) And frankly I can’t come up with any reason for this spectacle, so I’ll just have to accept it. Besides, Ruffington Jr. talks more intelligently than his owner anyway. Also, if any of you choose to name your pet ‘{insert name here}’, remember you got it from me.

If you have comments, want to discuss the previously mentioned Spray-Paint issue, or have me take a sideways view at your favorite topic. Send me an E-Mail at I’d love to hear from you!


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