CSotD: Random rants

Jonesy posted this for Pet Day, which was yesterday, and it made me chuckle despite how tired I am of dogs drinking out of toilets, which was a fresh concept when Mike Peters had Grimm do it over 30 years ago or so. I’m not looking it up, but I interviewed him in 1992 and he told me then that someone wrote an angry letter to the editor because she was concerned that other dogs would see the cartoon and start doing it, too. Which is funnier than the joke but, in any case, anchors the whole thing in the distant past.

By the way, if you (A) make sure the dog’s water dish is full and (B) close the toilet lid, you’ve solved the problem. Assuming you consider it a problem.

Though then all the women who don’t look will accidentally sit on the lid and blame you. Different problem.

However, getting back to Jonesy’s panel, I happened to have just been thinking that you often see cartoons of women in the tub with a glass of wine but you never see a cartoon of a guy in the tub having a beer.

And now you have.

This Diane de Ferran cartoon is from the New Yorker, which I probably didn’t have to say, because, while some country folks dress their dogs, it would be hard to find three of them in the same place (though she’s Parisienne).

However, I’ll admit that Spoiled Dog Syndrome is becoming more widespread and we’re seeing it here as well.

I’ve had two dogs who thought putting on clothes was fantastic fun, and one who assumed it was punishment and most who didn’t care one way or the other. This past winter, I put Suzi’s coat on her once and she spent most of the walk rolling on her back trying to get it off. Point taken.

A more serious pet issue comes up in this Bliss (AMS).

It specifically reminds me of a big, gentle, kind of goofy ridgeback I had, because I was walking him and a young pup on a woodland trail one day when the pup got up ahead of us and around a curve and into this situation: She was set on by a large German shepherd that yanked the leash from his owner to attack her.

The woman was, as in the cartoon, shouting that it was all my fault, but, meanwhile, gentle goofy boy immediately summoned his inner Lambert and raced to protect the pup. He wound up with a slight puncture wound, but got her out unharmed and, as soon as we had everyone separated, he went right back to being gentle and goofy, which puts him on my list of Good Dogs.

And I got a lecture about letting my dogs get near her uncontrolled, predictably unfriendly giant.

Today, my dog goes to a large park to play with her friends, but I see too many people up in town, walking their dogs on leash and hoping nobody approaches them. I’m sympathetic, but I’m also aware that it’s more common than it ought to be.

I blame it in part on folks who don’t do some research before getting a well-bred dog with whom they are compatible, and, in part, on some-no-not-all rescue groups that are so eager to place dogs that they take a Pollyanna approach to likely outcomes. And a relatively new problem: Pig-in-a-poke Internet purchases.

You could bring a baby tiger to the park and it would be fun and gentle until it got older. It isn’t always easy to read a pup and see the dog it will become.

Still, there are clues: Not all Labrador retrievers like water, but you’re foolish to get one and expect it to stay dry. Not all beagles bark, but you’re foolish to get one and expect it to be quiet. Similarly, breeds that were originally bred to be aggressive carry that tendency forward. Socialization and training can only suppress innate characteristics so much.

Do your homework.

Speaking of matters veterinary, I suppose I’d pondered this to some extent, but Rhymes With Orange (KFS) brings the matter to the fore: What is inside a centaur?

Obviously, it occurred to Hilary Price and Rina Piccolo, because they were careful to have him there for a colonoscopy, which really emphasizes the issue.

We know that horses are not ruminants, so that, unlike cattle and camels and such, they have only one stomach.

But so do humans. So how many stomachs do centaurs have? And, if the answer is two, how are they connected? And does the second stomach have any real function, or is it vestigial?

And if a centaur has a colonoscopy, how long is the cable?

Asclepius, the father of medicine, learned his skills from Chiron the Centaur.

Did Chiron, in turn, develop those skills after enduring a colonoscopy at the Acropolis Veterinary clinic?

I don’t know. I’m just asking questions.

I mentioned, the other day, that my Western Civ degree began with a basic metaphysics class to take us down a peg or two. The first reading in our Great Books seminar was the Apology, which I suspect was intended to do some of the same thing, except that we were probably expected to marvel at the wisdom of Socrates and then gradually, as in this Existential Comics, come to wonder if maybe the old gentleman was having us all on.

I don’t remember when we studied Diogenes the Cynic, who lived in a large barrel in the Acropolis. The story is that Alexander the Great (student of Aristotle who was a student of Plato who was a student of Socrates) came to see him, praised his wisdom and asked if there was anything he could do for him.

“Only step to the side, out of my sunlight,” the old cynic replied.

As said, I don’t remember when we heard the story, but it was after we’d started to wise up to philosophical pretentions and perhaps shed a bit of our own.

Granted, we still admired Tom Hayden but loved Abbie Hoffman.

The world needs both.

I don’t think we ever got to a point where we recognized any possible need for Rose to raise her hand in class, as seen in today’s Wallace the Brave (AMS).

The fictional part here is that Rose is genuinely trying to become socially adept, and if some of the Roses in our class made that effort, there were others who never ever caught on.

Some of them were simply oblivious while others would actually defend their obsessive need for everything to be as the Rules say it should.

What I particularly remember was that the minute hands of the clocks in our classroom ticked forward with each minute, and we’d watch that hand move closer to the bell, hoping that it would ring before a hand would go up to remind Teacher to collect the homework half of us hadn’t done.

Yes, very much like that, only we were trying to get it to go faster.

10 thoughts on “CSotD: Random rants

  1. We stopped walking our dogs years ago, when came upon TOO MANY folks who thought leash laws were for everydog except theirs.

    I have an acquaintance whose water dish IS the toilet – I don’t care how supposedly clean it is, it’s still toilet water. Yuck!

    1. We almost never see unleashed dogs in town — and then it’s some 19 year old who hasn’t seen his dog run over yet but will learn. When the nearby town where our (mile long) park is located added a leash law, we petitioned them for a leash-free area in the park that’s about the size of two football fields, though it’s not strictly followed or enforced. But there, too, you don’t see many free running dogs up in town.

  2. My little dog apparently emits a scent that signals “kill me and eat me, maybe not in that order” to larger dogs. We encounter very few unleashed; the ones that scare me are big dogs being lackadaisically walked by someone not paying much attention or, indeed, clearly too light and weak to stop the dog if it really wanted to charge. The one time our dog was seriously attacked was by a 60-pound dog that dragged its owner 10 yards to get to us. (My dog was fine. I pulled off the dog and ended up less fine.)

    Centaurs never made a lick of sense when you think about their skeletal structure. They have six limbs. Do those horsey forelegs have a pelvis? A clavicle? So a centaur has two clavicles? How do they attach to a spine, and what does that spine look like? Extra-long with a right-angle bend in the middle? Same with angels and such with wings sprouting from their shoulder blades. But wings are the arms of birds and bats (especially bats; their wings are just really long webbed fingers). So they’ve got two sets of arms? Again, how does that work with a skeleton?

    I’ve spent years overthinking this stuff.

    I’ve always thought that Socrates was way too proud of his own humility. You weren’t fooling anyone, pal. Even Steve Martin was onto you. https://youtu.be/RVc8jwYexjE

  3. Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “Jerry Was a Man” involves a company that creates mythical/weird animals for hire, but the owner has to explain to a customer that yes, they can make him a pony-sized critter that *look*s exactly like a classical Pegasus, but no, it won’t be able to fly; the laws of anatomy won’t stretch that far (would need gigantic breastbone etc.).

  4. Vet office waiting room scene : me around corner on a bench with my cat (IN A CARRIER, so don’t even start on THAT and the nearest “cats only” vet is 20 miles away). Out in the main part of the room,, a Newfoundland, a lab, a medium-sized mutt and a small terrier type. Only one was going ape-$%^&crazy and non-stop barking, and it wasn’t one of the bigger ones.

    1. I downsized after 34 years of 100-pound ridgebacks, on the theory that I might someday be required to live in a place where “You can have a dog, as long as it’s no larger than a gerbil.” I had to eliminate most of the terriers as (A) too combative and (B) too barky. They’re lovely dogs and wonderfully trainable, but not all that sociable (or quiet). Too bad, because it’s a good group. For the record, here’s what I came up with, after eliminating dogs that were loud or combative:

  5. Maybe Rose and Gine from Big Nate can compare notes, except Rose is far more likable.

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