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    Friday, August 12, 2022

    What The ...: May the dog be with you

    Mandatory dog accompaniment may be the best idea since unsliced bread and cross-country golf. Granted, that latter invention hasn’t received the attention it deserves, but the dog idea is one whose time has come.

    MDA is the legal requirement that all people be accompanied by a dog wherever they go. If two people walk down the street, they need two dogs. If a dozen slackers are hanging out at the Dutch Tavern, there are 13 dogs there — 12 for the customers, plus one to maintain order while her companion human tends bar.

    Picture it: Dogs horsing around school playgrounds. Dogs sniffing people at City Hall. Dogs keeping people’s feet warm at the Garde. Dogs getting seasick on the Block Island Ferry. It’s going to be so much fun!

    Consider the impact on crime. Nobody mugs somebody who’s with a dog. Burglars don’t sneak into homes that have dogs. Dogs can smell gunpowder and drugs. And who’s going to rob a bank if it’s going to involve a lot of barking?

    Dogs are good for business, the foundation of an entire industry — dog food, dog accessories, dog training, dog walking, dog grooming, dog shows and, with so many dogs in town, dog accommodations.

    In other words, dogs can be jobs, products, services and money. Isn’t that what everybody wants?

    But it isn’t just the economy. Dogs are pals. They’re family. They’re loved. A new puppy is of interest to the whole neighborhood. The death of a dog makes people cry. There’s something about a dog that brings out the human in us, which is really something to think about.

    And in a nation torn by cultural and political strife, I think we can all agree that we don’t need to ask the dogs about MDA. They don’t care! Unlike cats, gerbils and goldfish, they’re always up for adventure, even if it’s just a walk on a leash. And they’re going to go nuts over restaurants!

    Speaking of which, any restaurant worth its salt is going to expand its menu to include a little dog food. And if I know Americans — and I’ve known quite a few, some of them real doozies — they aren’t going to be comfortable letting their best friends be served some kind of crap out of a can.

    Who’s going to a restaurant that doesn’t have a bone or two among the specials of the day?

    And yes, you’ll need to take your mandatory companion when you go to the restroom. Of course. But don’t worry about his or her gender. As I said, they don’t care!

    And if a human of questionable or objectionable gender walks in, it isn’t going to be a problem. Who’s going to get weird in a restroom full of dogs?

    If you call an ambulance, you know what’s going to happen. Two EMTs, a paramedic and three dogs will jump out the back. This will be not only thrilling to watch, but medically beneficial as well. Dog spit is bactericidal.

    In ancient Greece, dogs were trained to lick wounds. In around 1320, St. Roch was cured of plague after his dog licked his festering buboes. In 1970, the medical journal “Lancet” published an article, “Dog Licks Man,” that reported dog saliva healing a wound.

    As they say in France, “Langue de chien, langue de médecin.” (A dog’s tongue is a doctor’s tongue.)

    (On the other hand, it depends on what was last in Dr. Dog’s mouth. It probably wasn’t Listerine. Dog licks have resulted in sepsis, necrosis, spinal infections, meningitis, and in rare cases, rabies. Other side effects may occur. Ask your doctor if dog spit is right for you.)

    Let’s face it: dogs deserve to be with us. They were our first domesticated animals. Over the course of 15,000 years, they’ve adapted to our behavior. They’re adapted to the point where they couldn’t live without us. (As opposed to cats, most of whom are just a few generations away from feral. They’d be fine on their own. They might like us, but they don’t need us.)

    All it takes to make MDA a reality in Connecticut is a single vote by the General Assembly. Write to your state reps and senators today and tell them what you think!

    Glenn Alan Cheney is the author of “The Cat Caboodle: A Litter Box of Cat Facts and Curiosities” and many other books. He can be reached at glenn@NLLibrarium.com.

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