Greetings, gentle readers. First, I must apologize for being absent so long. When it comes to blog postings, I prefer to only post when it is something I feel warrants your attention. However, I do appreciate those who have asked after me and wondered when I would write again.
Today’s subject is one that often gets overlooked and it is one which is near and dear to my heart: dog decorum.
As evidenced throughout history, dogs have always had a solemn duty to provide loyal companionship and to guard both flocks and humans. My own breed was developed to rid farms of vermin, thereby helping to protect harvests and keep humans safe from disease. This is a pact that, while unspoken, generations of dogs have willingly agreed to. As canis familiaris, we must take our jobs seriously.
However, in this day and age, too many among us have forgotten this weighty responsibility. Rather than do what our foredogfathers intended for us to do, we now have idle time on our paws. And so the youngsters of today conduct themselves in a manner that I believe is most unbecoming and an embarrassment to those fine, upstanding dogs that came before us.
Now, as you may remember from one of my sister’s earlier posts – It’s Time to Play the Name Game – I was named for those most legendary lawmen, the Texas Rangers. It is a name that I carry with pride and I am honored to further their tradition of maintaining law and order in this wild and untempered age.
Case in point: Last week, my father, sister and I were taking our daily constitutional when a woman and her black labrador retriever entered the park. Now, I assure you I do not have a bigoted bone in my body. But when it comes to over-the-top devil-may-care attitude, black labradors (or as they are more commonly known on the street – labra-“dudes”) are among the worst offenders. And this youngster was no exception. He was jumping about, begging his human to ‘throw the ball, throw the ball’ and in general, acting as if he had not a care in the world.
Unfortunately, my father decided at this very moment that he wanted to do some cross-country hiking and took us off the trail.
Me: Dad, what are you doing? Do you not see what is happening over there?
Dad: Oh, look, guys! We should go check out these, um, flowers over here.
Me: Flowers? What are you talking about? Have you taken leave of your senses?
Dad: Tra la la! I just love flowers. They’re so…flowery!
Me: (slipping deftly out of my collar) Fine. You go look at the flowers. I have a duty I must fulfill.
Blissfully free from my encumbrances, I ran to catch up to the offending dog. The “labra-dude,” seeing me headed in his direction, immediately grinned goofily and shouted out, “Hey there, little dude? Whassup, man?”
Me: “Whassup?” You wanna know “whassup?” I’ll tell you “whassup”! You’re an embarrassment to the good name of “dog.”
Labra-dude: What are you talking about, little dude? I just wanna play!
Me: Exactly! And while you play, your human could be in dire straits. She could be attacked by coyotes or wander off of a cliff or something!
Labra-dude: Uh, look, little dude – I have NO idea what you’re talkin’ about, man, but I got no problem with you.
Me: Yes, well, I have a problem with YOU and I…
Suddenly, from up above, a woman’s voice boomed out, “EH-EH.” It was the labra-dude’s human and, if you can believe this, she was wagging a chubby little finger at me!
Me: Pardon me, madam?
Labra-dude’s human: None of that!
Me: But…I was just…I was trying to…
Labra-dude’s human: You be a good dog!
Well, as you can imagine, I was stunned by this turn of events. It was quite obvious that I WAS a good dog and her dog, on the contrary, was NOT. Then suddenly it hit me. This human was enabling her dog and if that was the case, well, there was nothing more I could do. It was out of my paws. So I simply gave the labra-dude a quick, polite sniff, nodded curtly to chubby-fingered-woman, and made my way back to my father who – and this is the most humiliating part – actually offered an APOLOGY to the labra-dude’s human.
Me: Did you just apologize to her?
Dad: I did. I don’t know why you always have to appoint yourself the dog cop.
Me: You’re the one who named me Ranger, you know.
So, my friends, I am feeling rather hopeless about whether this sad state of affairs in the dog community will ever right itself. But I am true to the cause and I shall soldier on. I do hope you will join me in teaching the next generation about our illustrious past and perhaps one day, our dog brothers and sisters will all conduct themselves with the dignity and pride bestowed upon us by those who came before us.
Once again, thank you for your kind attention. As always, I wish you a good day and good biscuits.