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.
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.