More gems from previous columns….
New 'canine' disease discovered
We have identified a new disease, probably caused by a virus among dog-owning people. It apparently has been in existence for a considerable time, but only recently has anyone identified this disease, and begun to study it.
We call it the Acquired Canine Obsessive Syndrome (ACOS).
At first, ACOS was originally considered to be psychological in nature, but after two young researchers here suddenly decided to become show breeders, we realised that we were dealing with an infectious agent. Epidemiologists here have identified three stages of this disease and typical symptoms, and they are:
A. You have the early symptoms (Stage I) if:
1. You think that any show within 300 miles is nearby.
2. You begin to enjoy getting up at 5 a.m. in the morning to walk and feed dogs.
3. It is fun to spend several hours a day grooming dogs.
4. You think you're being frugal if you spend less than £3,000 a year on shows.
5. You can't remember what it was like to have just one dog.
B. You definitely have the disease (Stage II) if:
1. Your most important factor when buying a car is how many crates you can fit in it.
2. When you look for a house, the first thing you think of is how many dogs you can kennel on the property.
3. Your dog food bill is higher than your family's.
4. You spend as much on vets as on doctors.
5. You have no money because of showing dogs.
6. You have to buy more than one vehicle a year, because you keep burning out the 7-year or 70,000-mile warranty going to shows.
7. You have more pictures of the dogs than of your family.
8. Your idea of a fun holiday is to hit the show circuit.
9. Most of your conversations revolve around the dogs.
C. You are a terminal case (Stage III) if:
1. You wake up in the morning and find out that you put the kids in the crates and the dogs in the beds last night.
2. You know each dog's name and pedigree, but can't figure out who that stranger in the house is; it turns out to be your husband/wife.
3. Your neighbours keep insisting that those kids running around your house bothering the dogs are yours.
4. You keep telling the kids to "heel" and can't understand why they won't, and why they keep objecting to the choke collar.
5. You cash in the kid's college fund to campaign the dogs.
6. You've been on the road showing dogs so long that you can't remember where you live.
7. Your family tells you "It's either the dogs or us"; you choose the dogs.
Do you have this dreaded disease? Well, there is hope. In the course of our research, we have found that most cases seem to stop at Stage II, and remain chronic.
We, with great difficulty, managed to acquire several Stage III ACOS patients.
They are currently in our isolation wards, where we are studying them to gain a better understanding of this disease.
It is a sad sight, seeing these formerly vibrant people as they shuffle around their rooms in endless triangle or L-patterns, making odd hand motions (as if holding a lead and baiting a dog), and making chirping noises.
Merely saying the word "Crufts" can send them into an uncontrollable frenzy.
Unfortunately, there isn't much hope for these cases, but with time and research to further understand this disease, we hope to come up with a cure.
We are now attempting to isolate the causative agent, and may be able to develop a vaccine in the future.
An interesting sideline of this disease seems to be that exposure at an early age has an immunising effect.
Several people afflicted with ACOS at Stage II and Stage III have close family members (children, husbands, wives) who have absolutely no disease.
It is thought by some of our researchers that this may be due to environmental effects, to an age-related immune function, or to the fact that those at these stages of the disease tend not to associate with their close family members possibly due to the memory deficit induced by the disease - that is, in that they don't remember that they have close family members!
What can you do to prevent this disease?
Until a cure is found, prevention is the measure.
Avoid kennels advertising "show stock," since it may be that dogs are carriers of the disease.
Leave town on those days that the local newspapers inform you of a show in the area.
If you inadvertently come into contact with an ACOS-afflicted person, leave as soon as possible (they do tend to cling), and thoroughly shower, preferably with germicidal soap.
If you are living with an ACOS-afflicted person, take comfort that, if you haven't succumbed yet, you are probably safe!
I can hear just fine!
Three judges, each with a hearing loss, were on their way to their respective rings one fine March day.
One remarked to the other, "Windy isn't it?"
"No, the second man replied, "it's Thursday."
Then the third man chimed in, "So am I, let's have a beer first."
(M. Curtis, Houghton le Spring)
A couple has a dog that snores. Annoyed because she can't sleep, the wife goes to the vet to see if he can help. The vet tells the woman to tie a ribbon around the dog's testicles and he will stop snoring. "Yeah, right," she says.
A few minutes after going to bed, the dog begins snoring as usual. The wife tosses and turns, unable to sleep. Muttering to herself, she goes to the closet and grabs a piece of ribbon and ties it carefully around the dog's testicles. Sure enough, the dog stops snoring.
The woman is amazed!
Later that night, her husband returns home drunk from being out with his buddies. He climbs into bed, falls asleep, and begins snoring loudly. The woman thinks maybe the ribbon will work on him.
So she goes to the closet again, grabs a piece of ribbon, and carefully ties it around her husband's testicles. Amazingly it also works on him! The woman sleeps soundly.
The next morning, the husband wakes up hung over. He stumbles into the bathroom. As he stands in front of the toilet he glances in the mirror and sees a blue ribbon attached to his privates. He is very confused, and as he walks back into the bedroom, he sees a red ribbon attached to his dog's testicles.
He shakes his head, looks at the dog and says, "Boy, I don't remember where we were or what we did, but by God, we got first and second place!"
(K. Welsch, Koblenz)
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