I was talking to Murray, the world’s cutest and brightest dog. As you know, he was taught to speak English early on. It’s amazing. The dog knows so much that I’ve been trying to convince Joe Donahue to let him have my spot on the first hour of The Roundtable every once in a while.
There are, however, many things about which the little Westie and I disagree. For example, he is always pestering me about world affairs. He is far more enamored with Bibi Netanyahu than I am. The little dog is deeply suspicious of the Arab leadership. He says they want their own country and he doesn’t trust them.
“Look, Pops,” he recently said with his pink tongue hanging out. “I’ll bet you anything that once the Palestinians get their own state, they’ll continue to try to push Israel into the sea.”
I told him that I didn’t think we had any choice -- Netanyahu had been rude to the President of the United States and had overplayed his role and actually threatened Israel’s security by misjudging the President’s resolve. To that, the little dog looked up at me and said, “You know, Pops, every time I hear you say that stuff on the radio I am deeply disappointed.”
That’s when I knew that the real culprit was my partner/wife/co-parent/lover, Roselle. She was responsible for Murray’s continuing disagreement with me. You see Roselle has a theory that the radio must be left on continually when she is out of the house. I have said to her, time and again, that we are wasting electricity and that if everyone left their radios on to keep their dogs company the drain on the nation’s energy could prove catastrophic. But Roselle really is much smarter than I am she takes no guff.
“Look, Alan,” she said. This is not just any dog. This is Murray who can read and write English. In fact you’re the one who sent him to the Literacy Network of South Berkshire to learn to read and write. Just because he can outthink and out talk you doesn’t mean that we should keep him from his major source of news and information. What do you want to do, turn him into one of those people who gets no news at all? I think that Murray ought to run for selectman. He’s really much smarter than a few of the people who are running.”
But the Lovely Roselle was hardly through with me. In fact, she was just getting warmed up. Of course, Murray was sitting next to her in her big green recliner. The little dog had a tremendous grin on his face that he reserves for those times when I am really in trouble. Roselle then uttered the Name That Shall Not Be Used (my mom’s orders). She started to call me “Al.” She knows how much I hate that but she was really annoyed.
”Listen, Al,” she said. “I can’t even begin to tell you how many people leave the radio station on all day long. Their pets can’t even speak English but their humans just want them to have some company. Don’t talk to me about how much it costs. This country spends billions on its pet industry and most of it is on stuff that the dogs play with for a moment and then it lands in the corner and collects dust. So a few pennies for a educated dog population is nothing.”
Roselle told me she even knows someone who leaves the radio station on for her parrots. She says that when the family comes home from school and work all the parrots can say, over and over again is “1-800-323-9262.” So then she said, “I know someone who leaves their radio on for her five cats.” “CATS,” I screamed. “Now you’ve gone too far.”