Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hey, I'm as patriotic as the next dog freak, but.....

I guess word is getting around that Washington Heights is a major enclave for city-dwelling canids and their two-legged entourages. Earlier this week, I'm walking Max over near Riverside, and I see a flyer taped to a lamppost--no, not another lost dog notice. An advertisement. For, I kid you not, patriotic dog collars.

And not just any patriotic dog collars--patriotic dog collars from the PREMIER SOURCE of patriotic dog collars.

There is no reason, of course, why someone can't proclaim his patriotism or ethnic origin via his dog's neck--what better way, when you get right down to it, since any real dog lover is at least as proud of his dog as he is of his country.

And hey, the more choices we have in canine neckwear the better--for one thing, if your dog is wearing a distinctive-looking collar, that would make it easier for people to identify him if he got lost (though ID tags and licenses are probably a bit more reliable, and of course microchipping is an increasingly available option).

It's just a bit funny, because as anyone who has a dog knows, the only nation dogs recognize is their family, human or otherwise. They make communities out of whatever raw materials they find around them, form loyalties on the basis of mutual affection and common interest, and they identify those communities by smell, not patterns and colors.

Dogs are uncivilized, you see. They are often conscripted to fight for nations, the existence of which they can neither perceive nor comprehend--but in their minds, they're fighting for a human they love, or maybe just for food and a warm place to sleep. Of course, a lot of humans could ultimately say the same. We're not so civilized either, when you get right down to it.

Happily, a brief google search I just did fails to find any dog collars with Nazi Swastikas on them.

Same cannot be said for the Stars & Bars.

But you're not going to see many of those here in Yankee country.

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