Who’s Your Master???

OK, all you dog lovers, let’s call a spade a spade.

It’s a beautiful sunny morning, about 6:30Am.  The sky is blue, not a cloud around.  The air is cool but not cold, the sun is warm on the body but not hot.  It’s quiet out, the neighborhoods not quite awake yet.  You’re out for the morning walk with “Man’s Best Friend” Rover, the family dog.  I hope he is as small as a Chihuahua, although he could be as big as a Great Dane (and in that case he may be walking you).  You have a warm cup of coffee in hand enjoying your early morning time together.  An then, amidst the beauty and joy of the early morning, Rover pauses to do his business, finishes, scrapes his hind legs across the grass a few times (for whatever reason he and his kind do that for) looks up at you with a rather snide look, and says, “OK Dude, pick up time.”  And you, the animal lover, in joy with the opportunity to further bond with the family pet, proceed to bend down and with plastic bag wrapped hand, pickup and remove Rovers “nugget of joy” from the grass, dirt, sidewalk or street so that others will not step in it.  It is an appropriate and courteous gesture by the pet owner, one that is necessary in neighborhoods where we all walk and play in.  And in most places is now the law.

As appreciative as I am at the courteous, albeit required, gesture I have to say that every time I see a person bending down on “nugget patrol” I wince, laugh and basically get grossed out….especially first thing in my morning.  Geez Dude.  Of course this is coming from a man who has no pets, has raised no children in his life therefore not dealt with the mind-shaking sensory devastating experience of changing a baby’s diaper.  No, I am a pure virgin in the world of diapers and all that is related and will hopefully be so until the day I must begin changing my own…an inevitable event most likely.  Fate will nail me on this one I am sure.  And while I can understand the pure pleasure in having a pet…we had a young German Shepard for a short while named “Chrissy” and a great mixed breed dog named Gordon…it was long before society’s etiquette rules placed the burden of “nugget patrol” on the pet owners.  On the occasions I would find “their business” in the grass of our front or back yard, I would eventually mow over it with the lawnmower when mowing the lawn for my weekly allowance and shoot it into the grass bag…never breaking stride…but always holding my breath.

These days, as with everything, it is a changed world from that which I was raised in.  I see dog lovers walking their sweet pooch with a stash of plastic bags stuck into their belt, ready for action.  Young, old, man, women, they all bend down and accomplish the task while their Rover stands by patiently and watches…certain to be laughing like hell behind that docile sweet face, droopy ears, hanging tongue and wagging tail.  “Yesiree Bob, pick it up, I’ll wait” they seem to be saying.  Cats are no better either, when you get right down to it.  Inside the house they have a natural instinct to use the “litter box” to do their business in, following which they politely cover it with sand, awaiting for you to eventually empty the box after the visiting neighbor cringes his or her nose upon entering your home and asking “what’s that smell?”

After decades of sending dogs and monkeys into outer space, training dogs to detect drugs and explosive devices, depending upon dogs and their knowledge to help the blind and physically impaired to live safer more functional and rewarding lives, you would think that we would have somehow taught them to use the john, to flush and put the seat down afterwards.  At least teach them to scoop.  They get our morning paper, play catch with us (then make us go get the ball when they decide their done), they have the ability to warn us of danger, intrusion, and can be incredibly protective.  When are you pet lovers going to teach them to use the bathroom for more than drinking out of the bowl?  It can’t be that complicated when you consider all else they do and or have been taught.

Suddenly your world could be different.  The morning walk with Rover becomes so much
more pleasurable.  Just imagine, as you call for Rover to join you, you asked “Want to go for a walk with me?  Do you need to use the bathroom first?  Don’t forget to put the seat down afterwards”.

But the world is not perfect and I really don’t imagine this happening soon. So, as I take my walks alone, without Man’s Best Friend, I will continue to enjoy the elements, my coffee in hand and turn my head to the side at the sight of Rover’s Master Slave bending over to scoop nuggets…while the real Master sits and waits at the end of the leash.

Ahhh, the joy of it all.

G’Day friends, see you next Friday morning.



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