Pathetic bathetic


By Marla Boone

Contributing columnist

It was bad enough that I had to ask my neighbor how to use Facebook. I had the Marketplace part pretty well figured out, but there was a trip I wanted to explore and all the information was on Facebook. There is also a group of folks who possess a great deal of technical information that I’m interested in and Facebook is their go-to platform. So, I reluctantly opted in. Lest there be any confusion here, and I don’t see how there could be, I am not a big fan of social media. But I am, increasingly obviously, in the minority here. Facebook is plumb full of people posting breathtakingly exciting things such as where they drank their tea that morning. I don’t understand how anyone, except the tea drinker, could possibly care about this. But apparently, the location of tea ingestion is of critical importance to some.

While I was on Facebook, searching for data on how long my reusable oil filter was going to last (five years), I noticed a thing called Tik Tok. Naturally, I went to the source of all media knowledge, my nineteen-year-old neighbor, and asked her what Tik Tok was. To her eternal credit, she did not fall down in disbelief. She did not guffaw in my face. She did not do the nineteen-year-old patented eye roll. She quite patiently, in uniformly small words with few syllables, explained Tik Tok to me. Tik Tok is brimming with short videos about babies (not interested), cats (not interested), horses (very interested), and dogs (very very interested). One of the best ones shows a big baby of a German Shepard getting a bath. I used to have a big baby of a Doberman Pinscher and that dog loved a bath. I would put him in the shower, turn on the warm water, and soap him up. His response to all this would be to emit a long, drawn-out groan that sounded, to the uninitiated, like a growl. I made sure it wasn’t a growl because I was in the shower with him and I had on as many clothes as he did. The shower stall was painfully small and this dog was painfully big. If he had been unhappy, it would have resulted in multiple stitches and a tetanus shot for me. The German Shepard in the video just sat there with a dopey look on his face offering his paws to be scrubbed and then reveling in being blow dried.

My friend Kevin has a dog. This is supposed to be a bird hunting dog so his name is Hunter. Hunter is unusually skilled at hunting opossums and raccoons. He is less so at hunting birds because Hunter has learned if he finds a bird someone is going to shoot at it and Hunter does not like gunshots. This makes him something less than vital when it comes to bird hunting but if you’re ever in the market for a big, fat, juicy, slightly chewed-up opossum, Hunter is your dog. After one particularly lively opossum encounter, Hunter ended up with some large wounds that required the attention of a veterinarian. Dr. Haines patched him up and sent him home with a (cue scary music…dah, dah, DAH) a cone of shame. For those of you who have never watched Dr. Pol on Nat Geo, a cone of shame is the big, plastic, lampshade-looking thing that goes around the neck, designed to keep animals from licking their wounds. Turns out Hunter liked the cone of shame even less than he likes gunfire. To say he went ballistic is to short-change an ICBM. He was running around the house, bouncing off the walls, howling, and generally using the full spectrum of ways dogs can indicate displeasure. The cone of shame was a shredded cone of shame in less time than it takes to read this.

Hunter feels only slightly more kindly towards bathing. He certainly doesn’t approach German Shephard or Doberman-like tranquility when faced with being washed. In warm weather, we take him to the river where he swims around for an hour or two and we call that good enough. In the winter we can only hope he fights the opossums in a clean place.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today.

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