Love my woman, love my baby, love my biscuits sopped in gravy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


One clear fall morning a woman was walking her dog in the park when she saw another woman approaching, following her own dog on a leash. The first thing she noticed was that dog the stranger led was a pink toy poodle, smaller than her German Shepherd, and perfectly groomed with an expensive collar.

As the woman with the poodle neared, the woman with the larger dog critically eyed the smaller dog.

"Why on earth would you ever own a fancy little thing like that?" the first woman said.

"Excuse me?"

"Obviously, your so-called dog is inferior to mine. German Shepherds are guard dogs and police dogs, and very well behaved." She jerked the leash and said, "Sit, Gunther." The dog immediatly sat, looked at its master, licked its venerable chops, and began to pant.

"Well," said the poodle lady, "This little dog has served me well. She's very friendly, and people seem to like her. She sparks a lot of conversations, and she also brings me my slippers every evening."

"Hmph. Gunther is good at keeping cats out of my house. Just last week he brought me the cutest little cat named Snowball. We buried it in the back yard. Such a good boy," she said, stroking the dog's head. The shepherd closed his eyes in pleasure. "And a few months ago, he cornered a man in the grocery store who brushed against my purse. He has a good eye for criminal activity. I'm not even sure that thing qualifies as a dog." She tilted her head and added, "I haven't seen you at the Kennel, either."

"No, it's a dog alright. Papers and everything," the poodle lady said. "Anyway, I did try out your club, and they almost ate Peaches here. So, I go to a different club, more for people who are just starting to be interested in dogs. It's kind of new."

"A dog must be brown with a black saddle, and bred for strength and intelligence. Tall, too. Your animal is short and pink for crying out loud. It can't be a dog."

"Do you really want to argue about whether or not the poodle is a dog?"

"I've heard that the Chihuahua is actually a breed of rodent. It's probably true for your little rat, too."

The woman went on to list five points that make dogs distinct from other four legged mammals, and the poodle lady gently showed that her poodle indeed met the criteria. The poodle, meanwhile, sniffed a tulip.

Still convinced that the small animal couldn't be a dog, the woman with the German Shepherd tried a new tact.

"I've heard about your club. Everyone there brings in all sorts of animals, and they all claim to have dogs. I read about a man who brought in a pair of conjoined parakeets, and calls it a dog." The German Shepherd growled at the poodle.

"Well, it's an informal club," the poodle lady said, drawing the poodle near her, "and just because someone brings an animal doesn't mean they're bringing a dog. We like to talk about dogs, swap dog stories, and hope potential dog owners will think about adopting a dog."

"Captain Max von Stephanitz never mentioned poodles, and I've got all of his books, notes, and memoirs indexed and alphabetized at home."

While the poodle lady contemplated this, a young mother came up holding the hand of a young girl in a pink dress. The girl was about three and excited at the sight of the dogs, began to pull away from the lady to touch them. The mother tried to restrain the girl, but the determind daughter slipped her hand from her mother's grip and ran up to the closer, and more colorful little poodle. The poodle was excited by the girl, and danced on it's back legs, and started licking the little girls face.

The mother began to apologize and pull the little one away, but the poodle lady insisted that it was alright, and that the girl was in no danger. Meanwhile Gunther and her owner watched with interest.

As the little girl played with the poodle, another man briskly approached. He was tanned, with white hair and thick glasses, wearing a velour warm up suit and velcro tennis shoes. Ignoring the child and the poodle, he broke his stride and stopped in front of the German Sheperd. He held out the back of his hand for the dog to sniff and addressed the owner.

"Beautiful dog. I bet the Kaiser would have loved to have had a dog with this form." The owner stood a little taller, partly from pride in her dog and partly, perhaps subconciously, to match the man's military bearing.

"Thank you," she said. "He's won many awards. Best in show three times running at the state level."

The dog respected the older man, and had warmed up to him quite nicely. The man was running expert hands over his coat and peering in the dog's ear.

"I can see why," he said. "I used to run a kennel with just German Sheperds. They're my favorite dog," he said, rising. "But my wife was a poodle woman, and always loved the little yippers." He nodded toward the poodle with the little girl. "They're great little dogs, too."

The man lifted his sleeve and glanced at a gold wristwatch, nodded at the ladies, and resumed his walk at a good clip.



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