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Lifestyle

My Life as a Dog

Bow-wow

It’s been said that there are dog people and cat people. I’m neither. I’m barely a people person. This is ironic since people occasionally comment upon my natural leadership abilities and become disappointed when I don’t pass the Kool-Aid.

I have been known, however, to share the wine, and if you’re seeking a Jim Jones-esque experience, the diminutive size of my expense account relative to affordable plonk could very well yield a killer hangover. And what’s the point? Two’s company … but not a cult.

To that end, I am not, naturally speaking, a top-dog, alpha-male or über-mensch type anyway—unless I’m alone, which makes me all the above with the added bonus of being a “lone wolf.” Then I’m a total badass until I run into another lone wolf. Inevitably, we discuss joining forces and forming our own pack. But running in a pack of lone wolves is rather like attending the anarchy club—oxymoronic at its best, and embarrassing if one actually shows up.

When other would-be top dogs ask me why they have poor pack retention, I point out it’s because they’re stingy with their knowledge.

They rationalize that smart leaders don’t foment their own competition. They think underdogs created concepts like “mentoring,” which is just a way of learning everything necessary to overthrow the person mentoring you. I nod sagely, then I offer them some well-deserved Kool-Aid.

There are other ways to become a top dog, of course. A pal of mine once fell in with a rough pack of feral canines—wolves, really—and later came down with a nasty case of lycanthropy. Now, he does public service announcements: 

“Remember, there is no cure for lycanthropy, and it may be contagious even if there are no symptoms like excessive body hair or a full moon.”

The only headache worse than having a werewolf friend—they eat guacamole right out of the bowl—is when a dog arrives at my doorstep leashed to a pal of mine, who wants to enter my home. With his dog. Though it’s unpopular to admit, I don’t like animals in my house. It sort of defeats the purpose of living indoors, doesn’t it? I mean, we built houses to live apart from the animals, didn’t we?

“But the dog is part of my family,” my friend protests.

And since I’m a gracious host, I welcome them both inside. Then I explain how genetics work while filling their bowls.

Originally published in the North Bay Bohemian.

By Daedalus Howell

Daedalus Howell is the author, most recently, of the novel "Quantum Deadline" and the writer-director of the recently released feature film "Pill Head." He is the editor of The North Bay Bohemian and The Pacific Sun.

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