Today's Topic:
My Bark is Worse than my Bit

Before I start in, let me preface my remarks with this: I love dogs. When I was growing up, we had a wonderful dog by the name of Rhea, named after the Greek goddess. My brother liked to call it Dia. When I got older, I had a dog named Sugar that was a cocker-mix. It was stupider than a dead rat, but, occasionally, when it wasn't digging holes in the backyard or peeing in the house, I felt a mild sort of sensation that was vaguely similar to liking it. That was shortly before we gave Sugar away to a homeless person. The point is, I like dogs, and they like me. Even the ones that hump my leg. Who can blame them really? Especially when, despite my age, I still have such good-looking legs.

So you won't be offended when I tell you that when my neighbor's dog died, I was giddy with delight. "Ha ha!" I declared. "That's fantastic. That stupid mongrel finally bit the dust. Now we'll get some peace!" But that didn't happen; the neighbor replaced it with another barking menace from hell only several days later.

That's why the first the first thing I did this morning was to pull up alongside the neighbor's yard and flip off their dog. It had just finished barking at something invisible that only it could see, and it was now standing, with its paws resting upon the metal gate, looking for the slightest excuse to bark again. Or maybe it was just saving up some really loud barks for one of its favorite times, which are: during our favorite TV shows, 3 am, and Saturday morning when I'm trying to sleep in.

I ran across a web posting recently in which a lady responded to people who had a complaint similar to mine—her neighbor's dogs barked too much. The web lady's argument went like this: "Duh," she said, "that's what dogs do!"

I hope that it's not necessary for me to explain the logical flaws in this reasoning, but I'm going to do it anyway. The argument is essentially saying that you can't dislike dogs because they act like dogs, or, to be more concise, you can't dislike dogs because they are dogs. There's the problem. If you can't dislike something for what it is, then what can you dislike it for? For example, some people hate cats because they seem cold and aloof. That makes sense. But it doesn't make any sense to hate a cat because it votes for a different political party than you do or because it talks during movies.

A while back, my brother and my niece came over to the house. They are dog lovers, which is not a generalization. They like every dog on the planet, including the dingo that ate your baby.* The second I complained about the neighbor's dog and its incessant noise, my niece went next door and immediately made friends with it.

It could be that I've underestimated these animals. As I sat alongside the curb making obscene gestures at the neighbor's dog, maybe it was thinking, "Where's your niece, you damn jerk? Get away from my house. Go to work. Do something useful with yourself. I'm going to sit here and whine at police sirens and then yap myself silly because I have a brain full of fecal matter."

And that's exactly what happened.

The following disclaimers are for the stubbornly ignorant people who are still unclear about the concept of edgy humor:

Have a great day.

*If you do not get that joke, Google it.