Lately, I’ve been trying to determine the intelligence of my dog, Elvis.
I’ve always thought of my pet as a dim bulb - about on the brain cell par with a fern or Spokane County Coroner Dexter Amend.
But an NBC “Dateline” segment on doggy IQ and recent events at the coroner’s office have convinced me that I have sold Elvis way short.
On the show, an expert touted the poodle as the planet’s second-smartest canine. Cocker spaniels didn’t fare so badly, either, ranking 20th out of about 75 breeds.
Since Elvis is a cockapoo - a mixture of the aforementioned dogs - it seemed logical that he didn’t come from the shallow end of the gene pool.
So I ran him through a battery of “Dateline” tests, which I will detail a bit later. (By the way, the border collie is the world’s smartest breed.)
It turns out Elvis is one Rhodes scholar of a dog. Intellectual enough that I am announcing his candidacy for coroner in the next election.
Before you laugh, ask yourself: Could a common mutt do any worse than a cantankerous old coot like Dexter Amend?
I don’t think so.
Sure, Elvis embarrasses himself with a lot of mindless, goofy yapping.
But Amend recently barked at a single mother, telling her she should go find a husband when she couldn’t pay for her brother’s cremation.
Around the house, Elvis is always blundering into the tables and chairs.
Amend once tripped over the body of a 3-year-old child while lecturing the boy’s stunned and grieving parents on how the boy’s organs could be harvested.
Elvis is a harmless friend to all.
Our coroner snaps at anybody in his way. Before he took office, Amend canned a longtime coroner’s office secretary, presumably for being a Democrat.
Amend has a medical license. Elvis also is fully licensed.
My dog has rolled in a lot of foul substances on the lawn, but he’s never come close to creating the kind of stink that Amend routinely leaves behind.
Amend took off on a bizarre homophobic tangent recently when he indicted gays because a young murder victim was sodomized.
Police complain Amend constantly plays “Quincy,” the 1970s TV coroner played by Jack Klugman, trying to guess how people died without having any facts. His death certificates are considered by many to be a joke.
Trust me. Elvis has sense enough to defer to pathologists and autopsy findings before ruling on any cause of death.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Yeah, Doug, Amend’s a clod, but how do we know Elvis is the right dog to hold public office?”
I’m glad you asked.
On the “Dateline” program, scientists measured canine IQ by tying dynamite to dogs and then running them around a track until they exploded.
No, wait a minute. That’s how “Dateline” scientists demonstrated the dangers of General Motors pickups.
During the show I watched, a fat guy in an ascot ran dogs through some weird experiments.
He threw a blanket over the dogs and timed how long it took them to shake it off.
He hid a yummy under a plastic cup to learn which dogs could figure out how to get the treat.
He tested dogs to see if they could remember where food was hidden.
Some dull-witted bowsers, like the poor basset hound, didn’t have the gray matter to find their way out from under the blanket. Sounds like our County Commission, huh?
Elvis, however, was as sharp and crafty as Bill Clinton avoiding the draft. He aced every challenge in split seconds.
So as the first step in our campaign, we dare Amend to take the same tests. Because of his witless antics, it’s time our unworthy opponent proved he has more smarts than a mop-haired cockapoo.
So far, the only thing this arrogant and tactless pit bull of a coroner has proved is that he shouldn’t leave home without a muzzle.