Thursday, December 16, 2010
Don't Get a Deerhound.
Classic mistake. Add a Celtic soundtrack and they're suddenly mythic.
TROUBLE, THY NAME IS HICKORY. Yeah, I'd do news commentary if there were any news, but there isn't. The Republicans and Democrats are engaged in a game of Spit, with all our money for the rest of our lives as table stakes. Enough said? I think so.
Meanwhile I have some personal business to attend to. A few weeks ago, I received the following letter from the World Deerhound Association (WDA) in Edinburgh:
It has come to our attention that you have written, in your (what do you daft Yank bastards call it?) BLOG a series of sentimental essays making ownership of a Scottish deerhound seem feasible and in some respects attractive. As a dues-paying member of our organisation, you cannot but be aware that our mission is to prevent this pestilential animal from becoming more populous and widely owned than it is at present. It is therefore our official obligation to inform you that unless you publicly undo the damage you've already done with respect to the deerhound image, we will be compelled to do stern things to you and your family. Are we making ourselves clear? We have seen your claims that you are of Scottish descent. We are a global organisation, but we are also headquartered in Scotland and staffed exclusively by Scots. For this reason, we can only suppose you know that the popular definition of haggis as being composed of the bladder and intestines of sheep is incorrect.
We await your prompt correction of the misapprehensions of the deerhound breed you have propagated so carelessly. There can be nothing worse for this breed, and the human race, than deerhound popularity.
Chairman, The Board of Trustees
What with one thing and another, I didn't get around to responding right away. My mistake. As it happens, I am of Scottish descent, so I didn't take their intimations lightly; I was just a mite slow in responding. But the time has come to pay the piper. If I ever gave anyone the idea that owning a Scottish deerhound was a good idea, I apologize. I misspoke. My recollections were faulty. I was also misquoted and there's no truth to the rumor I deliberately perpetuated the notion that deerhounds improve the quality of human life, even Scottish human life if that isn't a hopeless oxymoron.
That's why I'm determined to walk back any false impressions I may have inadvertently conveyed by discussing my own two deerhounds, Psmith and Raebert. I would have thought that regular readers at this site would know without being constantly reminded of it that Scots do not live for happiness. Unlike most people, particularly Americans, Scots live chiefly for the experience of irritation, conflict, excuses for blind rage, and inconsolable despair. But having been upbraided so Scottishly, I now recognize the need to go the extra mile and explain just how awful a breed of dog the deerhound is, so there can be no remaining doubt as to how unsuitable it would be for any of you to acquire one.
I'm going to be specific and I'm going to document the case with video evidence. In some instances, like this first one, I'm sparing you the goriest parts. I'm aware that children may be watching.
Deerhounds are Destructive
Especially during the puppy phase, which lasts about three to six years. To date, Raebert (10 months old) has eaten or destroyed:
Three upholstered chairs
ALL of his toys
A whole bunch of shirts. socks, and underwear
A 500-page Harley Davidson catalog (the remains had to be raked up)
The only extant photo of the original TBB manuscript, as framed by the publisher (He ate the frame and the glass too.)
The dog coats belonging to his well behaved greyhound friends
Two stainless steel dogfood bowls
My battery-powered, crank-equipped survival radio
Half the remote controls in the house (which is, trust me, a lot of remote controls)
Our pug Eloise
My dear, departed mother's favorite Victorian armoire (I'm not talking 'gnawed.' I'm talking pile of woodchips spilling into the hallway.)
And... well, memory fails me. Believe me, there's a lot more, and Mrs. CP will back me up.
Besides, Eloise wasn't that annoying.
They Bully Greyhounds...
The only dog that's slightly faster than a deerhound. But they can't get away.
Imagine Ali against Sugar Ray. Sooner or later, Ray's helpless in the corner.
...and Everyone Else, Too, Even Wolfhounds
Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest of all dogs. But they're Irish.
Deerhounds are Scottish and they just never ever stop. Evil.
They All Look (Exactly) Alike
Yeah, I know they're all flowy and elegant. But you don't want a dog
you couldn't possibly identify if you had to find him at a breed party.
Unlike Most Celts, They Can't Carry a Tune
And if you like Irish tenors, forget it. You can see how out of the question that is.
They're Not What You'd Call Obedient
We used to think it was because they were dumb. Now we know better.
They Think Ve-e-e-ry Slowly.
Again, not that they're dumb. It's the disparity. The body's a rocket. The mind a turtle.
They're Creepily Drawn to Human Females
The whole reincarnation muddle. Is there a horny old Scottish lord alive in there?
They're Hunter-Killers & They're Not Kidding
Deerhound is a euphemism for deer-killer. They can actually do that.
The Worse the Weather, the
More Fun They Have
We're being kind. They'd be even happier if the snow were mud.
They also fart ferociously. But there's no video showing their room-clearing skills. Trust me, though. It's yet one more of their anti-social talents. And like all Scottish dogs, they poop for spite. But Scottie poop is one thing, and deerhound poop something altogether else. Do I have to draw you a picture?
All right. I've done what was asked. Deerhounds are no damned good, and nobody should ever own one. Okay? I'm still stationed here at the phone and all I'm asking is that you relent and return Raebert unharmed. He's never done anything to you pricksofficials at the WDA, He's only a baby for God's sake. Let him go. Please.
My last pacific request. If he's not home by dinnertime, I'm turning Mrs. CP loose on you. You don't fear the Irish? Then God help you. If He can. I, personally, doubt it.