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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nice Doggy

Nice Doggy

Where do I begin
To tell the story
Of how great a love can be?
The sweet love story
That is older than the sea
That sings the truth about the love she/he/Rex/Lassie/Fido brings to me
Where do I start?

- Lyrics by Carl Sigman (and me), Music by Francis Lai

Where do I begin, where do I begin to tell the story of the Spanish and their love of dogs, big and small? Mostly small because almost everyone lives in an apartment and who's got room for a Saint Bernard? Just as most people here choose to drive smaller cars, they also prefer smaller dogs, and for the same reason: better fuel economy.

Whether they are bigger than wolves or smaller than hamsters, the dogs here are almost always well behaved. If they have such things as leash laws here most people are in violation, yet their loose mutts never seem to stray very far or get into mischief. You see dogs waiting patiently—or not so patiently—outside of grocery stores while their masters are inside buying all of the strange things Spanish people buy in grocery stores. People take their pets with them practically every where they go. The main cathedral in Valencia actually has a special pew set aside in the back just for dogs. That's probably not true but it should be. That would be hilarious. If dogs aren’t allowed in churches this might explain why nobody in Spain goes any more. I guess the Catholic god is more of the cat-loving type of superior being.

Just walk down a sidewalk here and it is immediately evident that dogs have a privileged place in Spanish society. Dogs in Spain have the same sort of status as movie stars have in American society, except without the drug rehab and DUI arrests. For the most part, dogs don't have any issues that can't be remedied with a rolled up magazine. Celebrities in America usually need a little firmer punishment than a rolled up magazine. What usually works best in their case is a good swat with a board with a nail sticking out of it. Spanish dogs are a lot better behaved than American celebrities even considering all of the poop and yapping—I'll let the reader wonder if I am referring to Spanish dogs or famous actors. The subjects of American tabloid newspapers leave a bigger mess in their wake than any Spanish chihuahua. If you don't believe me just try cleaning up the latest social dump you read about in The National Inquirer with nothing but a plastic shopping bag wrapped around your hand.