Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DOG (08/09/18)
TITLE: Dog Tired and Confused
By Linda Germain
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The first canine actors I remember often portrayed heroic examples of being man’s best friend. They were always impeccably groomed and only bit the bad guys or the mailman.
To a kid who had no dog, watching Lassie save Timmy was far more interesting than questioning why Wally and Beaver never had messy rooms or always ate Saturday breakfast with Mom and Dad. That did not happen at my house. The Cleavers had no pets. Maybe that’s why June could vacuum in heels and pearls. Nothing was dirty.
Being a rather pragmatic child, I couldn’t understand how Lassie jumped through Timmy’s window, but nothing else breached the open port, not even flies. Also, what kept burglars from entering to grab the antiques? Oh, yeah! Lassie was on guard duty. Did she ever sleep?
Which brings up another confusing-to-children point: In reality, Lassie was a boy. Apparently, female canines cycle through hair losses that do not affect males. Five generations of Collies were trained to fool us. That’s okay. We loved them.
When I found out Lassie’s new puppies were only snuggling (not having dinner) I was stunned. Of course, the actor-dog was following orders from an amazing trainer. Being curious, I wondered what kinds of signals made a gorgeous four-legged star obey on cue.
Disney’s cartoon dogs had me bumfuzzled. We’ve all wondered why Goofy wore clothes and talked, while Pluto wiggled around making funny noises. Maybe the unclad one was embarrassed.
Other puppy scenarios gave me hours of contemplation. How could a Beagle lie on his back on a little sloped-roof house, type stories with his paws about dark and stormy nights, fly fighter planes, and then quaff a root beer at the pub? Very cute, but a little disturbing.
Some of the first words I learned to recognize in ancient first grade primers were, “See Spot run.” It made me want a dog even more, but not one who dashed down the street the way that slick little mutt always seemed to do. The kids skipped here and there while Father chased him. That was exciting back then. Times have changed.
Those fun and creative images are delightful for a child to ponder. Except for a couple of animated pets on the big screen, none of those animals were ever made to suffer the indignity of wearing clothes, having birthday parties, or abiding the incessant attention from humans who actually think of themselves as pet parents!
Rin Tin Tin was a terrific role-model dog in the fictitious story set in Cavalry days. He was strong and handsome and was never made to dance in a tutu or don fuzzy reindeer antlers. Dogs of that ilk serve in the real military and work very hard to be good soldiers with nary a Santa hat in sight.
Even darling little Benji wore no outfits or hats that portrayed him as a cowboy or an elf or a leprechaun.
If dogs could talk, would they ask some over-the-top owners why there are pretend wedding ceremonies for doggy-mates? A tiered cake made of choice meat products seems sinful when there are humans who don’t get that much nourishing protein in a month.
Nonetheless, advances in canine care are definitely pluses. Spaying and neutering are vital to control their population. Flea and tick management has made all the difference in their overall health and peace.
In the interest of fun and imagination, just think if Noah had dressed up all those two-by-twos? Maybe a monkey would have agreed to a tiny hat and a tin cup, but I don’t think alligators or camels or elephants would care a fig about shoes or socks. The ramifications would have been staggering!
As an old Lassie fan, I guess I’m just puzzled why so many humans pay good money to personify dogs? Some of the trends seem excessive and bizarre.
Yes, a tiny mutt may need a warm sweater in the winter or even a red scarf at the family Christmas party, but somehow, from where I sit looking back, some of today’s rush to make over dogs is a little creepy.
Watch the rampaging news long enough, and a sensible conclusion could be, “Who let the dogs in to impersonate civilized people and the people out to run wild and act like…well, animals?”
Wonder what God thinks?
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
Proverbs 12:10-11 (NASB)
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.
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