September 13, 1997 in Washington Voices

Dog Owner Speaks Out

Robert D. Christiansen

A fairly recent newspaper article which discussed the licensing of exotic animals gave me prolonged moments of great trepidation.

In this day and age there is so much discussion about how to make our society “safe.”

Was this just another answer from the “let us do your thinking for you” gang or the “just do as we say (no back talk now)” bunch?

As I reflected upon this event there was a refreshing opportunity to re-visit my personal experiences in the light of “another new law.”

The peacefulness of such reflection was interrupted (maybe derailed) by two different events, each of which happened on Saturday, Sept. 6.

The first was two messages on the family answering machine and the second was a discussion I overheard between the dog and the cat. In my usual, lightning-fast manner, I concluded the article must have been in today’s newspaper.

From the tone of the animals’ discussion, I knew that I must act immediately to avert possible retaliation. I just hope I am not too late. My purpose is to inform you of the gist of their conversation.

Until Saturday, I did not know that the cat had taught the dog how to read and that “Bear” had become a prolific reader over the years. (I thought he just liked to look at the pictures.)

When I confronted the dog about what he might do, all he would say was, “Woof, woof, arf, snarl, tail wag, ear twitch, mane bristle, pant, whine, woof, tail wag.”

A close translation is, “Phrases like ‘terrorizing the neighborhood’ or ‘attacking neighbors pet’ and especially any thought of hurting a child are about as fair to me as being a one-legged man in a buttkicking contest! But you think they would at least get the damn picture right!”


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