We are right now living in the age of the dog. At no time in history have canines served to enhance human life more than these past few years.
For decades, dogs have been helping the handicapped, but now they have gone way past mere to … to saving the lives of humans. Today, dogs are trained to set off an alarm when the owner faces a health crisis or lapses into a coma. They can actually identify seizures and asthma attacks before they happen. In the ongoing fight against cancer, dogs are being used as an early warning system to sniff out not just the disease, but certain types of the disease.
This same keen sense of the canine nose is today employed to uncover bombs and drugs and all matter of materials harmful to man. Every week a brave dog somewhere takes a bullet for his police or military master.
The dogs that rooted through the rubble of death following the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City were absolutely equal to the heroics of the police and firemen at Ground Zero. From the bottom of mine shafts to the hidden hazards of minefields, dogs are saving human lives with great regularity.
It’s amazing, astounding, terrific. For humans, that is. For the dogs we put in harm’s way so we can watch safely from the sidelines – not so much.
I believe The Global Dog Union, an organization to protect and enhance the working conditions of canines, is long overdue. Their rallying cry? WORKING CANINES OF THE WORLD UNITE!
At this moment, I’m looking for a leader for The Dog Union – maybe a streetwise, ex-police dog, or a mine disaster veteran who won’t take crap – sorry, poop – from anybody. It would help if they are willing to change their name to Jimmy “The Dog” Hoffa or Freddy “The Doberman” Krueger.
Okay, let’s hear you now. Bark loud. Bark proud.
“WHAT DO WE WANT? PERKS!”
“WHEN DO WE WANT ‘EM? NOW!”
Once unionized, canines would earn minimum human wage paid directly into their credit accounts at local pet shops and beer parlors. This is non-negotiable. Their debit cards fit into their leather I.D. collars. Working dogs would be outfitted with comfortable, steel-toed safety boots, custom-fit and handmade by an Italian guy named Tony. Something stylish, maybe a soft loafer look with a slot for a lucky penny. And remember, the pair of shoes in the back must match the pair in the front.
They would need face mask filters that fit around the nose and mouth. This is not so much for the air pollution in disaster areas, but if you’ve ever followed a slow-footed farting black lab, two miles down a mine shaft … well you get the idea.
Hard hats would be mandatory, but not too hard and not too heavy. Something light, like Kevlar, would be good, with slits for the ears to poke through like the straw hats the burros in Mexico wear.
And while we’re on the subject, no jobs currently or henceforth held by North American dogs are to be transferred offshore to buck-a-day chihuahuas in Mexico.
Unless specifically requested, no dog will be required to wear one of those stupid red bandannas around the neck. Water must be readily available at all job sites and no, not that bottled water you like to pour over our heads. They require real water contained in well-maintained nearby toilets.
Treat machines must be preset and visible at all job sites – the kind you slam with your paw and some idiot sings: “Who Let The Dogs Out?” as the cookie pops out the bottom. Two half-hour breaks and an hour for lunch per eight-hour shifts will be the standard of all unionized shops.
One full-time human pooper scooper will be assigned for each group of forty dogs. And the first person to say “sit, stay, roll over” will be staked to the ground and licked half to death.
Bum rubs are a given. Whenever a dog backs into you, he’s not asking to be frisked for ticks or fleas. He wants a bum rub! At least three a day.
Rest and Relaxation: Any canine working in a zone deemed dangerous or unhealthy is to be sent to some exotic dog resort for one weekend every month. Cold beer and friendly companionship must be available 24/7.
A free and universal health care plan should be in place for all dogs – working and shiftless idlers alike. Also a priority study is to be undertaken by the best vets available to come up with a thermometer that inserts under the tongue. And if we need human help in setting up barricades and fire barrels in the event of a strike, doG forbid it should come to that.
Mandatory retirement for all unionized canines is nine years of age and then an assignment to a nursing home where everybody, dogs and residents benefit from the mutual companionship.
The Dog Union. Motto: “Man’s best friend? Now prove it!” And remember – it goes under the tongue, okay?
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