I’m pretty sure my dog looks sheepish when he farts. I also caught him rolling his eyes the other night when we were trying to fool him by spelling out D-I-N-N-E-R.
I know for sure that it’s not an accident when he bumps visitors’ wine glasses only to dive in and lap up the spill.
I’ve written quite enough about my own dog. It’s indulgent, sorry.
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Why is it that every time I see a pure bred dog I think of Hitler?
I’m certainly not meaning to trivialise the horrific nature of the Holocaust by any means, but I can’t help but draw parallels between the madman’s ideal of a “superior” Aryan Race and a mating system which celebrates a dog’s fashionable beauty over its health and well-being.
Obviously not all breeders, nor all classes of dogs have inherent problems and defects, but it’s undeniable that within certain categories, continuous genetic inbreeding has produced recognised medical flaws which diminish the life expectancy and life quality of man’s best friend.
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My childhood dog, Neddy, had manky bald bits and he’d scoot across the lawn on his bum whenever we had company. He was partial to trying to have sex with inappropriate things. But we could dress him up and he’d sigh with martyred forbearance and let us photograph him.
Our cats were called Soft and Stupid, and Hard and Hairy.
Later there was Sophie, and Fergus, and Sam. And of course long-forgotten goldfish who always got flushed. And rats called Romeo and Juliet. Juliet ate Romeo. I think it may have been my fault for forgetting to feed them.
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The euthanasia of pets is a hot topic. Many healthy animals are put down every year for a complex range of reasons. And a fight between people who should be allies – the animal shelters and the animal rescuers who want a ‘no kill’ rule – is making things even more difficult, Miles Heffernan explains.
Australia is a world leader in killing cats and dogs. Investigating this production line of death opens the door to an insidious world of pet welfare, commercial greed, and pious ideology.
For a short time I worked for a large animal shelter. From that part-time job, I have a beautiful pooch called Thaddeus. One of my mates rudely refers to him as my life partner, given his regular attendance at BBQs and birthdays.
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I don’t want to suggest that my life is lacking in excitement, or that at times the days seem to blend into a homogenous mass of predictable, middleclassness. But I will say, that when the man on my doorstep introduced himself as the Sheriff, he had my undivided attention.
And not just because of his uniform. My attitude to uniforms is best seen in terms of arrested development. I developed normally until the age of 5, and that was it. The fascination has not abated. Matching hats, whistles, reflective patches, holsters – all these things just exacerbate the situation.
As soon as the Sheriff introduced himself, I knew what to do. I scanned the street for American Indians. It looked clear. Maybe it was just bandits? I mentally prepared myself to be saved.
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Welcome to the fifth edition of Dr Tinman’s Ignorant Remedies for the Aching Soul. I am Dr Tinman, life-doctor and former explorer of the Earth’s molten core.
Life is hard. It’s full of disappointments, tragedy and jars that just won’t open, even though you did the hot water thing and the towel thing and now you have to ask someone else to open it for you - which they will and then you’ll have to joke about how you “must’ve loosened it”. But you both know that’s not true. You know you’re physically weaker than them. And now, so do they.
Sometimes, it’s just easier to log onto your favourite online retailer and use any major credit card to purchase, with free shipping, a range of self-help books - all of which are available in 27 languages, including German, French, Mandarin and the hyper-sexual eyebrow arching-based form of communication utilised by terrifying teen bride Courtney Stodden.
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As a teacher’s kid I grew up on a school campus. This was idyllic for children but, for dogs, it was utopia. Hounds roamed free. Leashes did not exist. And the dog community participated in every aspect of the school’s life.
One maths teacher had a beautiful Labrador who dutifully followed him around school wherever he went, including the classroom. As classes were taught, the Labrador would happily sleep up the front, content in the knowledge that he was on top of his subject having heard this lesson many times before.
An Afghan who lived near the oval loved athletics. During the season he would regularly join the final lap of the 800m and was responsible for many a school record as nervous kids found extra pace with a large dog literally nipping at their heels.
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One Punch reader’s next door neighbour has a huuuuuge beast of a dog. In Latin, it’s a gigantasaurus canineteethobeast. Said Punch reader doesn’t have particularly good relations with this neighbour. The dog has gone off leash in the past and came menacingly close to the reader’s three-year-old daughter.
Last week, another neighbour on the cul de sac told this reader that they’re going to call the council after the pitbull-esque monster barktastically blockaded the neighbour in their home.
In normal times, this action would be a positive development. But the Punch reader is having a party in the not-too-distant future. Maintaining stable relations with the neighbours is imperative at least until the party has safely concluded. And given past tensions over Fido, the Punch reader is sure to take the blame for any council action.
So. Should our reader try put the kybosh on their anti-dog neighbour’s complaint plans until after the party is over in a couple of weeks? Or should neighbourhood safety be the immediate prerogative?
Send us your Friday dilemmas. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Are there some exes you never get over? He was dark, he was exceptionally handsome, he was better bred than half the entries in Debrett’s, and he came down in a ute from Hamilton.
Merlin was the kind of dog that other dog lovers coveted. He inspired copycat purchases amongst our friends. It was like dating the hottest guy at the SLSC over January. Every time you went to the dog park, people looked - it felt good.
He was smart as a whip, he had eyes that could make strangers do his bidding, and he was loyal in that doggy way to which humans can only aspire. Yet he managed to retain just a little bit of mystery. Just enough so you didn’t feel you had his balls in the drawer – which wasn’t surprising since they were in a wheelie bin behind the vet’s somewhere.
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You can pet a human, but you really shouldn’t human a pet. Things can get… a bit sick.
No, not in a Monaghan kind of way. Wash your mouth out. In an awww-i-wuv-my-widdle-wascal-so-much-I-just-wanna-dress-him-up-like-a-real-little-boy kind of way.
Going overboard on the pet love can nauseate your friends and family, and can make you really – really – sick. Some people anthropomorphise their pets to the point where they forget that pets don’t floss or use alcohol-based sanitation gels as often as they should.
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Max, a young and handsome American pit bull, sits on death row in Miami-Dade County’s Animal Services, a victim of possibly the world’s toughest breed-specific dog laws.
The paperwork on his cage labels him “aggressive”, but it’s more out of caution. He’s never bitten anyone.
Max has got 24 hours for a reprieve. His owner is a soldier on duty in Afghanistan who left the dog with his family. They became panicked that they would be fined for harbouring an outlawed breed and handed him to the Animal Services pound.
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Hybrid vigour? I call bullshit. These designer dogs are just mongrels with a ludicrous price tag. Keep your bullshit special-purpose cross breed, your genetically manipulated bundle of non-shedding joy.
Keep your Labradoodles and Shegroodles, your Foxyhuahuas and Afghanitas, your Bullalutes.
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It’s illegal to teach your children responsibility by buying them a dog to look after. At least, that’s what my local council would have you believe.
The other morning my wife and I and our dog went to the local oval to meet with a friend and her dog. We live in a small rural area, nothing but dairies as far as the eye can see. At nine o’clock in the morning the only people in the park were the five of us – three humans and two dogs.
Everyone was having a tremendous time, the dogs playing, the humans talking. Then a ranger turned up and told us we weren’t allowed to have dogs on the oval, even on a lead.
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Another dead kid, another dog which should never have been breathing and eating Pal, let alone allowed to escape from its yard and kill somebody.
Too often on a range of topics these days, we see the tail of minority concerns wagging the dog of the silent majority. The tiny, mad minority who love pitbulls, and endanger the rest of us, are a classic case.
Pitbull lovers seem to be as aggressive as the dogs themselves. On the website dogforum.com.au today, a delightful user called Shelby-001 said: “stop stereotyping BREED and just judge the DEED”. They even added the word “ggggrrrrrrr” after their rant, as though to further underline the similarity between dog and owner.
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This latest music video from OK Go was been viewed over a million times within 24 hours of its release.
The song, White Knuckles, is pretty good too. Enjoy.
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Next week is Hair Expo. The very best stylists in the land will gather in Sydney to show off their talents.
There is no more defining characteristic than hair. It is both unique to the person yet capable of dramatic change. What we do with our hair is an expression of our personality.
Yet the pinnacle of hair expression lies not with people but with poodles. The poodle coat has become a canvass for the most artistic of canine coiffeurs. With a pom-pom on the tail and an afro on the head a non-descript mutt can be transformed into the elegant high society hound.
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