We don't have a dog here at SUNFUN Central, but we do share
our home with a slightly crazed cat named Sadie and a sleepy
hamster named Bailey. In the U.S. these days, cats are more
popular than dogs, perhaps because dogs need more constant
attention. A sign of this is that we have the first U.S.
President in memory that has a cat instead of a dog in the White
House. Maybe Bill Clinton was frightened by the example of
President Bush, whose own book on politics didn't sell nearly as
well as the book written about his dog, Millie.
The worldwide market for pet supplies is big business.
Currently, there are over 50 million dogs in the U.S., and dogs
and cats consume almost $7 billion worth of pet food every year.
There seems to be two kinds of pet food. One is the dry kind
that's cheaper than table scraps and comes in bags the size of a
small truck. The other is a kind of 'toy' human food that costs
about the same as caviar. Makes you wonder about how dogs
survived at the edge of the village with our cave dwelling
ancestors. There, they only got what was left after everyone
else had picked the bones clean. Just how do we know that a
dog's favorite smell isn't rotting garbage? For some reason, the
fancy and expensive food is especially popular with cat owners.
One TV commercial even shows the cat eating from a cut-glass,
Tiffany bowl. Sorry Sadie, it's plastic bowls and the cheap
stuff for you.
I am not really a cat person, but I have come to a kind of
peace with our cat, where we mostly just ignore each other. This
detente is broken only when she, 1) climbs up on something she
shouldn't, or, 2) she scares the heck out of me by grabbing my
leg - usually late at night next to the bed.
Thanks this week to our friends: Dale Frederickson, Howard
Lesniak, Jerry Taff, Dick Ginkowski, Nnamdi Elleh, Beth Butler
and Naomi Ogawa. Now you read on. . . I have to go shoo Sadie
off the printer stand.
Have a great week!
"Life is like a dog sled team. If you ain't the lead
dog, the scenery never changes."
- Lewis Grizzard
Things we can learn from dogs:
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face
to be pure ecstasy.
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
- When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
- Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
- Take naps and stretch before rising.
- Run, romp, and play daily.
- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend to be something you're not.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by,
and nuzzle them gently.
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- On hot days, drink lots of water, and lay under a shady
- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt
thing and pout... Run right back and make friends.
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
"A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side
- Ogden Nash
THE LAW APPLIES TO US ALL - EVEN ANIMALS?
The U.S. State of New Hampshire prides itself on having less
government than practically any other place in the country. What
can you say about a place where the state motto is, "Live Free Or
Die?" They have no sales taxes, no income tax, no motorcycle
helmet law and no seatbelt law.
They do, however, have a special law to prohibit dogs from
riding in the back of pickup trucks. Not people, that's entirely
legal. Only dogs. ( AM News )
TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME?
The classic definition of news was that when dog bites man,
that isn't news, but when man bites dog, that's something to
report. That rule was proved again recently in Miami Beach,
Florida, when a guy named Ricardo Culbertson was trying to escape
from police in a stolen taxi after a robbery at the Royal Park
Hotel. When Culbertson tried to run, police sent a German
shepherd dog named Myrus after him. Myrus caught the fleeing
suspect, and bit his leg. Culbertson then turned around and bit
the dog on the neck.
A bad day all the way around for Culbertson, who was
arrested and charged with armed robbery, armed carjacking, armed
kidnapping, aggravated assault and - biting a police dog (a
A Yorkshire terrier chased down a street sweeping machine in
Swansea, Wales recently, but has probably been cured forever of
his habit of chasing vehicles. The little dog apparently got too
close to the sweeper when chasing it, and got sucked into the
machine. Fortunately, the dog's owners saw this, stopped the
street sweeper and recovered their dog, dusty but otherwise
[ I always wondered what happens when the dog
who chases cars catches one... ]
Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Dogs are man's best
friend. So who's smarter?
SPEAK, BOY, SPEAK!
Companies just love to use animals in commercials,
especially when they can do something amazing or funny. A
company called Thompson Pet Pasta Products recently sponsored a
contest offering a trip to Italy for anyone who could teach their
dog to say the word 'pasta.' No one has even gotten to an
Italian restaurant yet, so it might just be impossible.
[ If your dog can do this, they'd still love
to hear from you at: 1-800-228-3738 ]
THE BEAR DOG
A guy walks into a Chicago bar with a dachshund under his
arm. The dog is wearing a tiny Chicago Bears jersey and helmet.
The bartender says, "Hey - No pets in here! You have to put
that dog outside or get out of here"
The guy begs him: "Look, I'm desperate. We're both big fans
and my TV set is broken. This is the only place close by where
we can see the game."
Just then, the noise on the TV erupts as the Bears complete
a surprise pass, and score a touchdown. The little dog jumps out
of his owner's arms, leaps to the floor and does several back
flips. The dog stands on his hind legs, and shakes tiny pom-poms
in Bears colors while whining out the Budweiser theme song. Then
the little dog jumps up on the bar, and walks down the bar on
his hind legs, giving high-fives to all of the patrons watching
"That's the most amazing thing I've ever seen," the
bartender says. "If that's what he does when they just score,
what does he do when they win?"
"I don't know," the owner says, "I've only had him three
You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can't
teach a new dog much of anything at all...
CUTE? WELL, MAYBE NOT...
Often owners think it's cute when dogs imitate what they see
us doing, whether it's watching TV or working on the computer.
But there are times when this can lead to big trouble. A dog
named Bimbo in Oslo, Norway recently caused problems by imitating
A friend called Unni Anderson, Bimbo's owner, on the phone,
and when the phone was picked up, heard only grunting and
moaning. Thinking that something was seriously wrong, the friend
telephoned police. When the officers couldn't get an answer at
the door, they called the fire brigade, who broke down the door.
There they found Bimbo the dog, who was happily
demonstrating his new trick: answering the phone while his master
was out. (Verdens Gang Daily, Reuters)
Any time you think you have influence, try ordering around
someone else's dog.
[ Or your own cat! ]
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE PSYCHIC DOG.
In England, they use a slightly different telephone system
which involves sending the 90-volt ring signal from one wire to
ground (or "earth," as they would say there).
One elderly woman called the local telephone company to
complain that her telephone wasn't ringing properly; it would
sometimes fail to ring when her friends called. Stranger still,
on the few occasions when the phone would ring, her dog would
always know in advance and would start barking before the phone
starting ringing. The technician just had to see this...
On arriving, the telephone technician took note that the dog
was tied up outside. Hooking up his test set, he dialed the
number for a ring-back test. After a few moments, the dog began
barking, then, a short time later, the phone started ringing.
The phone man found that the dog in the yard was, by
coincidence, tethered with a metal chain to the telephone
grounding post. The poor dog was getting a 90 volt shock each
time the phone would ring, which not only caused him to bark, but
to urinate on the ground. The wet ground would then complete the
circuit and the phone would ring.
[ The old lady wasn't named Pavlov, by any
chance, was she? ]
© 1997 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.