Whiners get dogs barred

October 02, 2003|by TIM ROWLAND

What is it about dogs that gives this community such fits?

Is a dog such a complicated organic life form, such a profound, unfathomable species that we stand before them with a superstitious awe that leaves us helpless to cope?

Every day it seems that dogs dominate the local news headlines. They make so much news you would think we were dealing with a communal pack of four-footed Henry Kissingers, following their every move as if world peace hung in the balance. Come on, world fleas, maybe, but not world peace.

Everyone lean forward and listen to me, please. They are dogs. They are not a super race from another galaxy. Just dogs. Move on.


We know about the Humane Society controversies, we know about the pit bulls, we know about the dogs as they relate to the City Bark system paradigm, now here's the latest: "Dogs dismissed from principal's office at Bester."

It seems that for the past two years, Bester Elementary Principal Drenna Reineck has kept two small dogs named Bonnie and Clyde in her office, where they have unfailingly cheered up and comforted the children. Kids who did well got to walk the dogs as a reward.

But some spoilsport complained about potential "allergens" and that the little dogs could somehow be frightening to youngsters. So administrators gave them puppy pink slips. Superintendent Betty Morgan said: "We have to be responsive to the citizens and taxpayers."

Really? Since when? I thought we were talking about the School Board here. And I for one am sick and tired of every Freddie Fearmonger thinking that just because he pays a fraction of his miserable salary in taxes that it somehow gives him the right to assume the title of Dictator of the Earth.

Well, I pay taxes, too, or at least I did before I figured out the system. And as a taxpayer, I demand that the dogs be reinstated. So there, is the School Board going to "respond" to me? Not bloody likely. I don't have the necessary whine in my voice that makes government do even the stupidest of things. I'm more of a ranter. Whiners get action, ranters never do. It's a subtle difference, but one I've never mastered.

Besides, it's a dog thing. No rational person would understand.

Someone thought, "Oooo, dogs in a school, that's abnormal. I better complain. The dogs might - might - they might do something. Something dark and evil."

Like what, eat someone's homework?

Look, the dogs never made anyone sick, they never came in the neighborhood of biting or scaring anyone. (My favorite classified ad ever: "For sale, German shepherd. Likes children, but will make do with Alpo and table scraps.")

And before all you dog nuts start jumping up and down in support, I am not defending dogs. Far from it. They are what they are, which are just dogs, stupid dogs. Don't go telling me your dog is so smart, because he is not. Just because an animal lifts his paw when you say "shake" in exchange for a bone-shaped wad of dried horse meat doesn't make him Thomas Edison.

Dogs are only made to appear smart because we set the bar so low. They fetch a stinkin', slobber-soaked tennis ball and we're ready to confer on them a master's degree. We're talking about a species of animals that if they see it's raining out the front door they still hold out hope it might not be raining out the back door. You think your dog is smart, try this. In an excited voice say, "Come here fatso! You are the most disgusting coagulation of protoplasm on the face of the earth and if it weren't for the kids, I'd ship you off for medical experiments first thing in the morning, yes I would, boy!" Is he cowering in fear? No, he's jumping out of his skin in ecstasy simply because you noticed him. That's all a dog wants, that and food. Come to think of it, I'm sort of like a dog in that sense.

So no, I'm not defending dogs, I'm just defending the world's germaphobes even less.

Drenna should leave Bonnie and Clyde at home. And she should replace them with two pit bulls and a virus- and flea-riddled Southeast Asian monkey. They fear a pestilence, I'll give them a pestilence.

Like Bester itself, I'm old-school that way.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

The Herald-Mail Articles