Deranged about dogs |

Deranged about dogs

It’s the Pitts
Lee Pitts
Los Osos, Calif.

I may be in the dog house for asking this but since when did dogs become people? Humans are sleeping with their dogs, leaving their estates to them, going on spa vacations together, taking them grocery shopping, being buried with them and are feeding them food that costs more per entree than the meals I eat. According to Wikipedia, 60% of dog owners across the country celebrate their canine’s birthday by throwing a birthday party for it. Maybe I’m just jealous? But marrying your dog as some people have done seems a bit extreme to me. I even found an instance where an 18-year-old Balinese man married a cow who he claimed was flirting with him. Okay, so I’m a little jealous. I’ve never had a cow even make a pass at me.

Your average dog owner will spend anywhere from $6,400 to $16,400 to raise a dog to the age of 11. I’m quite sure that’s more than was spent on me. Now I really am jealous.

What prompts this essay was an episode you aren’t going to believe but I swear I’m not making it up. I was trying to write but it was hard because some mutt was yap yap yapping. I looked out the window and was shocked to see a person laying in the road that passes in front of our house. I live at the end of a dead-end street that comes to an abrupt stop at the edge of a huge state park. On a typical day a half dozen vehicles might pass my house but I rushed outside thinking this person had been run over and her little dog was trying to get someone’s attention. The dog was no bigger than a football but had less brains. And the pooch was trimmed up like some topiary shrub in a hedge fund millionaire’s yard.

“Are you all right?” I asked the prostrate woman. “How long have you been laying…”

I didn’t get a chance to finish my sentence because the lady looked at me harshly and said, “Be quiet! Can’t you see the coyote?”

“But what happened? Did you get run over? Are you injured?”

“Of course not,” she whispered.

“But why are you laying in the middle of the street?”

“I’m trying to get that coyote to come closer so that it might see that, unlike you, I pose no threat. I was hoping to socialize that coyote to people so that at some point we might establish some sort of bond. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could get that coyote and my dog to become playmates?” she said as she gave her pooch slobbery kisses.

“Lady, I have just one question: ARE YOU NUTS? The park is crawling with lions, bobcats and coyotes that will eat that dog of yours in one gulp.”

“That’s just not true. I’ve seen and read in books where coyotes and even wolves have realized their common ancestry with dogs and have celebrated their diversity together.”

“Well, I wish you’d let them celebrate their diversity someplace else because I don’t want to have to clean up the mess or listen to your dog scream after it celebrates with that coyote.”

As the lady got up in a huff from her previously prone position the coyote turned and ran away. “Now look what you’ve done,” she sobbed. “You scared the poor thing away and blew my best chance yet to get up close and personal with a coyote.”

“You mean you’ve done this before?” I asked in disbelief.

“Oh sure. By pretending to play dead I once got a squirrel to eat out of my hand and a blue jay landed on my shoulder. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someday my dog and I could come to call the lions, bobcats and coyotes in the park our friend.”

“Lady, you keep laying on the ground around here and there will be no “playing or pretending” about being dead. Instead of calling your dog, its friend the lions, bobcats and coyotes will call your dog something else entirely.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“The appetizer.” ❖