By Bill Buchanan
I hated to miss the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ventura County Humane Society. My trip back to Ojai was delayed, and I didn’t get to attend the ceremony. But all pet lovers have to be excited about the proposed expansion, which will also allow more services to help the least fortunate animals in our community.
My wife and I have always been supporters of the Humane Society. All of our dogs (and cats, when we had them) have been strays. Some have come from animal shelters, some from friends who knew about a dog who needs a home, and several were animals Ava just picked up off the highway. I think they make the best pets. They seem to understand what a good deal they have now, and show their appreciation every day.
One of the great things about Ojai is that everyone seems to have a dog — or two. Dogs on leashes are everywhere, which I absolutely love. Being allowed to pet others people’s dogs makes me miss my own a little less.
So, for all the dog lovers here in town, I wanted to let you take the following test to see if you merely own a dog, or if you have a special animal. Simply select the answer below that best reflects how your dog is treated.
• You have just bought new living room furniture.
A. Your dog is not allowed on the furniture under any condition.
B. Your dog is allowed on the furniture occasionally but only if there is a blanket or towel underneath him.
C. Your dog has his own special chair.
• At Christmas, your dog:
A. Is treated no differently than he is during the rest of the year.
B. Receives some type of special holiday treat.
C. Has his own stocking with the dog’s name on it, which is hung up with the rest of the stockings and stuffed with goodies on Christmas Day.
• When you go to a fast-food restaurant for a hamburger or ice cream cone, your dog:
A. Is not allowed to come along.
B. Is allowed to come along and receives a small bite of whatever you are eating.
C. Gets his own hamburger or ice cream cone, which you feed by hand to the dog while getting mustard, ketchup, ice cream and/or dog slobber all over you.
• Whenever you are eating something and your dog begs for some of it:
A. The dog is told to hush, and lie down.
B. You simply ignore him until he stops whining and begging.
C. Your spouse scolds you unmercifully until you share with the dog.
• When you go on a trip:
A. The dog is always left with friends or is boarded in a kennel.
B. The dog is taken along on some trips, but only if convenient.
C. The dog is pretty much always taken along and, if necessary, is sneaked into the elevator where you are staying, and then into your hotel room.
• When you go on a trip where you simply cannot take the dog and it must be boarded, you:
A. Take the dog to the vet, drop him off.
B. Take the dog to the vet, send a toy along.
C. Take the dog to the vet; go into hysterics about leaving him; take his favorite toy as well as a back-up toy; take his blanket; take his favorite food and some snacks; give the vet a two-page list of dos and don’ts; break down again out in the car; continue to cry, or at least sniff intermittently all the way to the airport.
Let’s grade the results:
If you chose “A” to most or all questions, then you are lord and master over your dog, and you recognize it for what it is — an animal.
If you chose “B” to most or all questions, you allow your dog a few liberties, but you maintain a healthy superiority over him, and both you and your dog recognize and respect the established hierarchy.
If you chose “C” to most or all questions, then you are a hopeless dog lover and are the proud owner of a “special animal.” In fact, because of your love and devotion to your dog, every animal you ever have will be a special animal. Love and enjoy them.