Papadaddy’s Mindfield

Dog Days Ahead

Ruff language from the monthly rescue dog meeting

By Clyde Edgerton

Following is a transcript
of a recent rescue dog monthly meeting at a local pound:

Dog 1, the Moderator: Good afternoon. My name is Dusty. I’m a Mix. As you have been informed, we are meeting to go over some of the characteristics of rescue families. As you know, if you are not rescued this month then —

Dog 2: Please don’t go into that.

OK. But please be aware that you may be rescued by a Conservative, a Liberal, a Mix, or a Hermit. You should be able to recognize either, so that you can pick the rescue family that will be a good fit for you. That’s the purpose of our meeting — recognition. Please interrupt at any time with questions, by the way.

Dog 2: What’s a Mix?

Someone who is both a Conservative and a Liberal.

Dog 3: Impossible

Dog 4: No, it’s not.

Dog 2: What’s a Conservative?

Someone who listens to Fox News on their SirrusXM Satellite car radio.

Dog 2: What’s a Liberal?

Someone who listens to CNN or MSNBC on their SirrusXM Satellite car radio.

Dog 2: How are they different?

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but it may be easier to say how they are alike. Judging from the commercials on those stations, they all likely owe $10,000 in back taxes or they are over $10,000 in credit card debt or they snore a lot, or are dysfunctional in some other way. It’s like they are all criminals. And, as with all humans these days, they are owned by somebody — or something — they may not recognize. And neither group will feed you chicken bones. But, as to their differences, I can tell you that —

Dog 2: What’s a Hermit?

A loner.

Dog 3: Why would a Hermit want a dog?

Don’t know. They probably wouldn’t. Right. So scratch that category.

Dog 4: Just wondering — can a woman be a Hermit?

Of course. Why would you think otherwise?

Dog 5: What’s a woman?

Come on, y’all — you were supposed to do your homework.  A woman is person who will most likely be feeding you once you rescue a family. Now, please hold off on the questions and let me just clarify a few things.

Dog 4: But what’s a man, then?

Dog 5: Do you mean a person who identifies as a man?

Dog 4: You must be a Liberal. Nanny nanny boo boo.

Dog 5: You must be a Conservative. Nanny nanny boo boo.

Hold on, hold on. Please don’t jump to conclusions. You are dogs, remember. You serve Conservatives, Liberals and Mixes. We rescue so that we can provide entertainment and company to rescue families, regardless of their political outlook. We must all —

Dog 6: I’ve been around the block a few times. Peed on a lot of fire hydrants. And I can tell you this: You want to rescue people who are kind to dogs. I rescued a Conservative family twice and a Liberal family twice. I learned that kindness is unpredictable. What you need is somebody who will squat down, look you in the eye, and talk to you. Gently. Who will give you food, shelter, and love. And if you are a Mix, like all of us here, then you —

Dog 7: I’m a pure breed. Dalmatian, as a matter of fact.

Dogs 2 – 23: Oh my goodness.

What the hell are you doing here?

My Lord.

For Heaven’s sake!

Overbred. Overbred. Overbred.

Nanny nanny boo boo.

Liar.

Dummy.

Softy.

Calm down. Listen up. Let’s not jump to conclusions. I believe there may be more than one pure breed among us. Or that could be what we call a “social construct.” Please understand that we are all in this together. More than likely each of you will find a family match — even pure-breed-Dalmatian-Dog 7. I understand Dalmatians are high-strung and perhaps you, Dog 7, will find a comfortable match . . . say, a vegetarian family. And listen, everybody, if a family doesn’t work out, simply bring them back and we will send them over for feline therapy. Believe me, they will come crawling back.  OH

Clyde Edgerton is the author of 10 novels, a memoir and most recently,
Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers. He is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNCW.

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