Thursday, April 16, 2009

Choose Wisely

This is a brief story from a few weeks ago that I meant to recap the day after it happened, but then I forgot. Because I've momentarily run out of things to talk about that aren't automobile related (wasn't it great to get zero stories today that didn't include the phrase "bankruptcy looms"?), I decided to go back and pull this 0 karat diamond out of the sack.

On this particularly day a few weeks ago, our 1.5-year-old female dog, Echo, got to that point in her life when she was not only capable, but very interested in baby making. This happens with female dogs about once a year and lasts for two very unfortunate weeks if you're not interested in being the proprietor of puppies. Part of managing this period of time (specifically if you also have a male dog that has fully functioning balls) was to make sure that she always had on a doggie diaper. Doggie diapers aren't much more stylish than baby or reverse baby diapers, so we often would put her in some very stylish dog underpants that were subtly colored and decorated with things like paw prints. For a dog diaper, they were about as cute as you could imagine. One of these days when she was wearing her dog undergarments I decided to take her on a run so I strapped her to my waist and hit the road. Right outside of our front gate was a mom and her three or four children between the ages of 6 and 12. They all kind of took a look at Echo and the mom asked me "We're wondering why your dog is wearing pants."

And I had a difficult choice to make.

All of these children were of the age where as soon as I answered with almost anything to their mom, I would instantly hear the chorus of "Mom, what's that mean?" I didn't want to put the mom in this position, and on top of that, I didn't want to be these children's anti-Peter Pan. "You mean dogs do what? Why do they do that? Gross!!!" My mind raced as I tried to figure out the best possible answer that would be explanatory but cryptic, clear but boring enough to the children that they wouldn't have any followup questions for their mom. I paused for a moment, raised my eyebrows and said, "Uh...she'" with an inflection that wasn't quite a question and not quite declaratory. I couldn't have just said something like "we like our dog to wear pants" because that would make me look like a dillhole and if I had to choose between this woman's discomfort or me looking like a dillhole, I'll chose other person's discomfort the great majority of the time.

My main point is that if you see a dog wearing pants around town and there are children nearby, I recommend not asking the dog owner why his dog is wearing pants. If the answer is something non-biological, there is a very good chance that you don't want to be talking to that person in the first place. Dogs can wear sweaters, ponchos, sombreros, sunglasses, Uggs, necklaces, bowties, and gold chains, but never pants.

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