Rated: G if you don’t read between the lines (PG if you do)
This story borrows its title from a bestseller, Walter the Farting Dog. In case you haven’t read the classic, Walter saves his family from thieves, who flee empty handed when he stinks up the house. Go read Walter if you want a story with a happy ending; my story is a tragedy.
Once upon a time, there was a sweet and loveable Basset hound named Jelly. This almost-perfect dog had one unappealing habit, though: she was excessively preoccupied with her hind end. She licked and licked, but not lasciviously, and she scooted her heinie along the ground. (There’s nothing like the cool grass to soothe one’s nether regions.) Every so often, Jelly’s persistent, but not prurient, preening exhausted her until she fell asleep with her head between her legs.
Eventually, Jelly’s mothers realized that their attempts to teach their daughter modern civility had fallen on very large but deaf
rears, so off they went to the vet in search of a solution. Every month or two, they’d offer their hard-earned cash for the vet to work her rubber-gloved magic, to no avail. Why didn’t her parents invest in pet health insurance? Hindsight is 20/20, they say.
Jelly’s mommies finally agreed to an operation since the problem was only getting worse. They hoped that surgery would end Jelly’s obsession with her back end, so she could resume playing with the other dogs. For several months, her parents saved for the procedure. No chocolate, no movie nights, no fun at all. The sacrifices parents make for their children!
After the operation, and Jelly’s post-op week in shaming leopard-print underpants, everyone watched expectantly to see what would happen. Could Jelly finally put this problem behind her?
That depends on what you mean by “behind”. Many months later, Jelly was still scooting and licking relentlessly. In fact, she remained the butt of jokes as she slid her nether regions from one end of the off-leash park to the other. This was not the happy ending her mothers were hoping for.
But there was one significant change in Jelly following the operation. Let’s back up here. In case you cat people didn’t know, all dogs have gas. Usually, however, their flatulence is of the silent-but-deadly type. One learns a dog has farted when: a) the dog whips her head around to her rear, looking both dismayed and confused; and b) shortly thereafter, an awful stench pervades the room.
Jelly used to be silent in her gaseousness, before the operation, that is. Since her surgery, she developed a newfound ability to toot aloud. Yes, Jelly’s farts sounded frighteningly human. This was certainly not what her mothers had paid for, but it would have to do.
Where’s the tragedy, you ask, beyond the loss of funds? The days of blaming Jelly for her mommies’ toxic emissions ended with that operation. One mommy in particular (I’ll let you guess) has been “blaming the dog” for years now. Time for her to step up and take responsibility.
The moral of this story: Let licking dogs lick. It’s better (and cheaper) for all concerned.