Fido does not pass gas.
“It’s an untoward behavior,” he said the other night. We lay in bed, ready for a long winter’s nap. “It’s no more acceptable than it is in humans.”
“It’s a good thing you think like that,” I said. “Otherwise you’d be outside.”
We had just finished reading the long, long, l-o-n-g New York Times article about purebred dogs, especially bulldogs.
“Inveterate farters,” said Fido. “It’s why I didn’t mind that the Georgia Bulldogs didn’t win. Not even the Superdome would be able to mitigate their behavior.”
“Ah, Fido, you read too much. Why, in our office alone we have a couple of purebred dogs.”
“Don’t I know it!” he said. “Hey, hey, hey hey!”
Not to argue with Fido. Not at all.
The article, by Benoit Denizet-Lewis, appeared Nov. 20 and has stirred up a lot of interest among dog lovers throughout the world.
It was headlined “Can the Bulldog Be Saved?” It dealt mostly with Uga, the famous Georgia mascot bulldog. Larger questions emerged than just bulldogs, though.
The report came out of a scathing British TV documentary, “Pedigree Dogs Exposed.” It highlighted the health and welfare problems of purebred dogs and claimed that breeders and the Kennel Club (the British equivalent of the American Kennel Club) were in denial about the extent of the health problems these dogs encounter.
Fido and I read the article together. It is rare to see Fido so thoughtful. It was if he lapped up every word.
After we were finished, we talked about it.
“It confirmed everything I ever thought,” he opined.
“Not so fast,” I cautioned. “He that is without gas among you, let him cast the first fart.”
“Well put,” he said. “I have been known to read Chaucer from time to time, and in the Miller’s Tale, one of my favorites of the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer writes, ‘Spek, sweete brid, I noot nat where thou art.’ This Nicholas anon let flee a fart.”
“Rightly so,” I said, “but that doesn’t mean you are entirely gentlemanly all the time.”
“You snore, Fido. Not big, bellowing snores, but snores nevertheless. Actually I think they’re quite delightful. And when you lick yourself, you make this kind of slurping sound, as if you’re licking a sno-cone. I also notice that you have no real compunctions about incessant panting.”
“A dog panting is an example of thermoregulation,” he said. “It keeps me cool in the summer and warm in the winter.”
I thought we were done with our conversation. I turned off the light. Fido stretched out and nuzzled against my ear and neck.
“Am I a pure breed?” he whispered.
“No, Fido. You are a pure American mashup.”
I felt him relax. Within moments he began to snore.