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Why I Hate Dogs By Unknown

Because they're just so stupid. I know some can fetch and speak and stand and square dance, but where it matters most, few creatures are dumb as a dog.

I had a decent appreciation for canines most of my life. The reason was simple. Growing up, our dogs lived outside. Where they belonged. My dad, whose moved closer to genius status every day since his death, would not allow animals to live in the house. We might bring a puppy inside to play on the living room floor for half an hour, but that was it. My folks were raised during the Great Depression (when that was an economic state, not a mental one) and the rules were simple. People inside, animals outside.

I can think of a million reasons that simple edict should be the law of the land.

First, dogs will stick their snouts into anything they encounter. The funkier, the better. Another dog's poop? A Snickers bar to a dog. Their own poop? A banana split at Dairy Queen. Another dog's backside? New Orleans gumbo. The dead possum that died of some unknown possum virus about to infiltrate humans? Well, folks, that's Maine lobster to a dumb 'ol cur.

Now, you might be thinking, Mr. Unknown, what set you off on such a tangent?

Well, it's always difficult to confess one's trespasses, and some folks can be quite brutal in taking you to task when you do (there are entire religions based on the concept). That said, I must confess, I accepted a free puppy on the parking Walmart! Yeah, got a puppy at Walmart.

Do not judge me.

To make matters worse, for some harebrained reason, we decided to allow the spawn of Satan to live inside...with us! When a mutt fits in the palm of your hand, you think, “What could possibly go wrong?” Well, for one, he's a mix, but clearly has some herd dog in him. That should be a red flag unless you enjoy being herded inside your own house.

We have a very humble home. We built it ourselves, with the aid of very talented, generous friends (meaning friends of my dad, now an official genius). Our house (a very, very, very fine house) would make a great camp down on the river for most, but it's not a home the majority of Americans dream of building.

However, after a few nights, our Walmart puppy (now christened Cash) wandered our modest abode as if he were prowling the halls at the Palace of Versailles. Because, you see, once he moved in, he owned the place. He pooped where he wanted to poop, peed where he wanted to pee. That two-hundred-dollar rug? Well, that looks like prime rib to a critter in the throes of puppy dementia.

People say dogs are appreciative of kind gestures. Oh, really. We bought Cash a bed. He showed his appreciation by eating it. Step by step, over the course of a week, he devoured a forty-five-dollar dog bed. At the end, it looked like a hand puppet ripped apart by wolverines.

In a more thoughtful moment (I get three per week), I wondered why our little bundle of plutonium behaves the way he does, why he proceeds so destructively through the world with a wildly wagging tale. Then I remembered something I observed a few years ago, when we lived in Louisiana.

One night, sitting in the shadows on our patio, I saw a tiny dog trot down the sidewalk. It took a quick look around, then deposited its own weight in doggy-doo on the pavement. By the time I pressed the 9 and 1 on my phone, a gargantuan man stepped under the streetlight and lifted the varmint into the air. He was wearing a sleeveless Harley-Davidson tee shirt (the man, not the dog) and was covered in tattoos, most of which displayed skulls of one form or other. He had a braided ponytail and a Charlie Daniels beard. He wore ripped jeans covered by weathered black chaps. For a moment, I thought he might eat the puny beast. So, relieved, I put down my phone.

“That's daddy's baby!” the man finally said, pulling the rogue sidewalk-pooper to his face.

The dog enthusiastically licked the man's mouth, no doubt depositing remnants of banana splits and Maine lobsters in the process. The Hell's Angels retiree didn't even wipe his mouth. I think I heard him humming that old Carpenter's song, We've Only Just Begun, as the happy couple disappeared into the night.

Contemplating that terrifying event, it occurred to me: that little four-legged rat is descended from wolves. How could that be? What in Hades happened? Then, the obvious struck me: we happened. If we're made in God's image, then we've created dogs in our image. At least, in America.

I've walked through the French Quarter (among other places), observing Paris Hilton wannabes cradling miniature mammals bearing no resemblance whatsoever to a wolf. They are usually bedecked in ribbons and bows, wearing sweaters promoting the local sports team. They are completely dependent on their owners, by design. They march confidently past other human beings, passed out on the street in their own filth.

So, now, in a thoughtful moment (it is Sunday, I have two left for the week), I feel it appropriate to reconsider the mongrel sitting at my feet, his tale thumping the deck. Is he really stupid? Well, yes. That said, I must factor in he was not meant to live indoors. He was not meant to appreciate two-hundred-dollar rugs. There's some primal, evolutionary reason he takes joy in sniffing backsides. To me, that's just a squirrel running across the yard, to Cash it's a threat to his kingdom and he reacts accordingly.

He'd rather be in the woods behind the house rolling around in the carcass of a recently deceased raccoon. We, on the other hand, do Google searches about dog irregularity. I would think if he could write an essay, it would be titled “Why I Hate Humans”.

But, of course, he does not hate us. I brought him home and he's our responsibility now. Everyone, including the vet, says he'll grow out of the so-called bad behaviors. Maybe, or it might just be a matter of a broken will. I don't like that thought much.

Meanwhile, outside, mostly self-sufficient, the cat stealthily tracks down a lizard. He looks back at me, lizard dangling from his mouth, and gives a (dare I say it) Cheshire grin. What must he think of us?


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