Istock column: WeeBook
In the interests of fair disclosure, I must confess that do not participate in social media. I still own a ‘dumb’ phone with zero apps, likes, tweets, streams, Tsunamis or whatever, and I happen to like it that way.
With that said, that doesn’t mean that everyone in my family shares my anti-social media bias, and in fact, one member in particular seems to be eat up with following the latest social and cultural trends presently making the rounds.
I’m talking specifically about my dog, Maggie.
You see, when I take this sweet little black-and-white out for her daily walk and business duties, she invariably makes a habit of stopping at every mailbox post, cable box cover, sign pole, and whatever other canine bulletin board she can find to read and respond to the latest breaking news and gossip being offered up by the Clemmons canine news cooperative, formally known as UPI, or United Pee International.
Now I’ve long wondered what it was that she found so interesting in these drive by “read ’em and wee” rituals, and so one day after a particularly long stop at a pile of yard waste, I decided to ask her: “Hey Maggie, what’s the poop here anyway (excuse the pun). What are y’all yappin’ about?”
And this is what she told me ( I took the Rosetta Stone Canine Language Course).
It’s like this pop. Some messages are quite brief and prompt only a single drop response, as in: “Hey y’all, Max was here” with me responding, “Hey Max, it’s me, Maggie.”
Others are much more involved and require a thorough sniffing up one side and down the other to get the entire text before squatting and leaving an extended reply or commentary. These pieces are more along the lines of essays or opinion columns that require more than a simple, “Sorry I missed you” reply, as in George wetting a piece espousing the desire for treat bars at the local dog park, or Bella waxing nostalgically about the old days when only the mailman prompted a good bark and how we now live in a golden age with all manner of delivery people running up and down the street all day long.
Then there’s entertainment news. For instance, here’s a conversation between Ginger and Stella:
“Hey, what’s everybody watching on TV these days?”
“Aw, that is sooo old school”
“Yeah? OK then, what are you watching?”
“Love after Animal Control Lock-Up” and “Housebreaking Boot Camp”
“Wow, that sounds cool. What network is that on?”
And here’s Copper and Deacon talking sports:
“Who ya picking this weekend, Georgia or Alabama?”
“Are you kidding? Bulldogs all the way. Go Dogs!”
Over here on this rock Gus and Penny are discussing their musical preferences:
“Have you heard the new Snoop Dogg CD?”
“Naw, I’m more of an oldies mutt myself, 3 Dog Night for me baby.”
A joke may get a couple of drops if it’s a good one:
“What did the French Poodle do on her walk?
Or maybe just an air pee if not:
“How are a computer and a mailbox post alike?
“They both have an IP address”
Occasionally there is a classified ad:
Wii video game console — slightly wet — will trade for doggie diapers (contact Shannon).
Still other messages may take the form of public service announcements, as in:
“The lady teller in the first drive-through lane at Wells Fargo gives treats if you come to the driver’s side window and look cute.”
“There’s going to be a neighborhood bark-out tonight from 10 to 10:15 p.m. No particular reason, we just want the humans to wonder what all the fuss is about”
“To whom it may concern: there is a three-legged cat that just moved into the old Jones residence on Briarwood Court . . . just sayin’ . . .”
Lastly, once in a while there is a personal ad that slips through despite such solicitation being frowned upon following the big paternity suit brouhaha involving the Johnson puppies last year, and periodically there’s the random obscene graffiti or challenge to fight message, but those are usually isolated events and nearly always left by younger immature males who haven’t been, ahem, fixed yet.
So, anything else you’d like to know?
No Maggie, I think that covers it. Thank you!
Well, there you have it, straight from the canine’s mouth, everything you’ve always wanted to know about your dog’s sniffing and weeing fixation. Sounds like they’re having a blast, doesn’t it?
Yeah, well just don’t be getting any nutty ideas and hanging around my mailbox post if you decide to leave me a message about this column, just call or write, OK?