April 27, 2006


HAS AMERICA GONE TO THE DOGS?



Copyright The Quipping Queen 2005.

HAS AMERICA GONE TO THE DOGS?
— Or, “Woofstock” Here We Come! —

Canucks take a good deal of pride in their hockey, beer, and cellular telephones (especially those Fido commercials about perky pet-owners who bear a striking resemblance to their posh- or pathetic-looking pooches).

Recently in Toronto, (the capital of everything BIG in Canada), they held a weird and wonderful event, aptly called Woofstock, to celebrate mans best friend plus push every imaginable product and service to pamper ones hip-looking hound.

The most fur-friendly towns in Canada are probably Dog Creek or Poopoo Creek (British Columbia), Dogs Nest (Ontario) and Dog Pound (Alberta). Perhaps, the only place where they’ve actually waged a war over the issue of freedom for Fido is in Victoria, British Columbia. Elected officials there recently passed a bylaw permitting off-leash perambulating and piddling, (with free doggie-doo-doo bags as an incentive for well-behaved pet-owners who care to stroll along the scenic seashore and tourist-trap trail known as Dallas Road).

In fact, America is home to some unusual pastimes such the enduring love of its citizens for bigger-than-life spectator sports. One of the most popular forms of entertainment involves media-hungry politicians who simply adore any opportunity to “mark their territory”, “get their paws on a bone”, and “let a little fur fly” (as long as they’re not caught on tape “barking up the wrong tree”).

Come to think of it, if the current President of the United States needs canine confidantes in the Whitehouse, (two Scottish terriers named “Miss Beasley” and “Barney”) to help him guide the affairs of state, (in return for a free run of the red carpet), then you know things must be hunky dory in the “Land of Lassie” and friends. And he is not alone in seeking the companionship of a cuddly canine. At least 200 pooches have resided at this prestigious address since the birth of this pet-friendly nation.
And for those who can’t get enough hair-raising facts to stimulate their minds, there are 28.4 million web pages devoted to these marvellous mutts. As if that were not enough, more than 1,086 geographic features (including airports, bars, bays, beaches, bridges, buildings, canals, capes, cemeteries, channels, churches, cliffs, crossings, dams, flats, gaps, glaciers, islands, keys, lakes, mines, oilfields, parks, pillars, post-offices, ranges, reservoirs, ridges, schools, springs, streams, summits, swamps, valleys, and wells) have been named after these blessed bow-wowing creatures (according to the U.S. Geological Survey – National Mapping Information website).

It may be a “dog-eat-dog world” out there but judging from the plethora of pet-inspired U.S. place names, the most fido-friendly towns to hang out in are probably:

– Big Lick (North Carolina)
– Canine Gulch (Alaska)
– Dog Bluff (South Carolina)
– Dog Canyon Estates (New Mexico)
– Dog Corners (Maine), Dogs Corners (New Jersey)
– Dog Creek (Oklahoma, Kentucky)
– Dog Ear Lake (Florida)
– Dog Hill (Tennessee)
– Dog Pond (Arizona)
– Dog Hole Lake (Florida)
– Doggie Island (South Carolina)
– Doghouse Junction (California)
– Dog Island (Florida)
– Dog Island Corner (Maine)
– Dogpatch (Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona), Dog Patch (West Virginia)
– Dog Ridge (Texas)
– Dogtail Corners (New York)
– Dogtown (Alabama, California, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee)
– Dogsboro (Georgia)
– Dog Walk (Illinois, Kentucky)
– Dogway (West Virginia)
– Gnaw Bone (Indiana)
– Licking (Mississippi)
– Mutt (Virginia)
– Paw Paw (Illinois)
– Poocham (New Hampshire)
– Tick Bite (North Carolina)
– Township of Dog Ear (South Dakota)

Americans currently spend close to $34 billion annually on their pets. While ornery owners sometimes find themselves in the proverbial “doghouse”, millions of mischievous mutts and misbehaving mongrels enjoy a life of ease as someone’s favorite “animal companion”.

It is estimated that 64.5% of American adults are now categorized as overweight according to the American Asssociation Obesity. As if that’s not enough, more than 40% of household pets today are said to be obese, (causing alarm among the nation’s pet-insurance providers as health-related illness claims for “Max” or “Minnie” spiral out of control).

Meanwhile back in Emerald City, vets are trying to capitalize quickly on the latest canine craze among celebrity pet-owners — tummy tucks, face-lifts and extreme-makeovers. So rest assured “Petunia Plump”, “Ms Piggly-Wiggly” and “Fat Freddie” …you too can be slim and trim (just like Toto for pete’s sake!)

According to Amazon.com, (a remarkable database of delightful doggie doodads for canine consumers), there’s something for everyone who enjoys a bit of “Rufus retail therapy”. Forget about “letting sleeping dogs lie”, or “teaching old dogs new tricks”, because if one’s keen about making sure “every dog has his day”, then “putting on the dog” is all that’s required (plus a valid credit card of course).

Heres a hint of just how important these pooch products and dandy dogs of all kinds are to the economy of the worlds richest country. According to the folks at Amazon.com, they have more than 96,000 canine consumer products in 38 categories to choose from! Judging from these statistics, some might conclude that America has definitely gone to the dogs — and they could be right!!

Meanwhile across the pond in England, professionals from “PetPlanet” point out that one insurance company has collected file cabinets of doggy data about which mutts have the highest accident-rate. So do take care and avoid naming the silly scamp Rush, Fagin, Heinze, Berty, Ruskin, Jena, Cagney, Captain, Brook, or Radar please.

Lest anyone think that everyone’s gone completely bonkers, one only has to read the amazing anecdotes of Aesop (whom it seems had a penchant for pooch platitudes judging from his wildebeest works entitled The Dog in the Manger, The Dog and the Wolf and The Fox, The Cock and the Dog).

May the Force of Fido be with you and yours forever and ever!

PS…and don’t forget to celebrate the 55th anniversary of “Snoopy”, (the best-known, blinking beagle in town), and all the gang from the “Peanuts” cartoon-strip this year!

About the Author

Thor Trewoofe, a glad-handing globe-trotter with a keen interest in those virile vikings who once ruled the world of whacking, whomping, and perhaps far too much whoopdedoing for their own good, and an accidental tourist in the Court of the Quipping Queen at http://www.quippingqueen.blogspot.com

Thor Trewoofe

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