Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comedian, takes the edge off of the world and explains all those unexplained things in a way that will make you either laugh or cry.

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I Know My Own Dog


 Not to beat a deadbeat with a keystroke, but the Haight Street issue continues. One of the many ideas created to do something about the vagrancy problem on our San Franciscan streets, focusing heavily on the hippiest, most free-spirited of the Bohemian boulevards where long-haired children of the street walk aimlessly with Pit Bulls, Labs, and tiny dogs that look already malnourished, is to enact leash laws. This is not only about dogs having leashes but the length of the leash is under scrutiny. Vagabonds will only be allow two-feet of rope, Ethernet cable or whatever they will be using as a leash, supposedly enabling sidewalk walkers enough room to get around them otherwise it’s a ticket.   

Here’s my deal...

I’ve never been sure about pets. That’s right. I think there is something wrong about the way we can feel about animals but not about another human being. I get it. Animals are cute and don’t talk back. They are just there to love and love you back, even if it is on their level only. With that being said, there is something about owning pets I find spooky.

I was watching Tim Burton’s series killer, “Planet of the Apes,” couple of weeks ago to remind myself how bad it was. There is a scene where one of the kid-apes keeps a small girl-human as a pet in an iron cage. That stupid scene only begins to express my doubts about pets and their place in our lives.

The other part of pets is how we talk to them. How we have no shame when we baby-talk right in front of our friends when speaking to Fido or Fluffy. How we show more than our indoor voice. We channel our inner Paul Lynde and don’t have a care in the world how gay we come off. Besides, “Who got the cutest pet? Who does? I do, that’s who. Yes, I do...” That all that counts, that Fluffy understands me. Hey it’s my world right? I can do what I want in it? Right?

Not really...There are rules...

Long time ago I went out with this woman whose father was afraid of dogs. I grew up with Holocaust survivors whose fear of German Sheppard’s and other snarling, growling dogs sailed over with them from the old country. If Uncle Max heard the neighbor’s dog at sundown bark for its dinner, he’d jump off the plastic-line sofa. But I never noticed how many dogs are allowed to roam free at concerts, parks or at other social interaction destinations until I hung with this chick and her dad. Of all of a sudden places where humanity intersects meant dealing with unleashed animals and stepping between said animal and a frighten man.

After a trip to New York in the Mid-zero’s, around ’05, I noticed couples were having dogs instead of kids. And don’t get me started on the bigger and gayer the bear of a fellow is the smaller and more hyper-active their tiny dog will be. Frissy is now the same way. Most of the public parks feel like dog parks the way Yeller and Lassie are running around catching balls in their slobbering mouths and dodging in and out of circles of people  sitting on blankets with kids and Sunday papers in the sun.

I’m not trying to come off like Andy Rooney on Metamucil-fueled rant but it’s getting a little crazy out there. And here’s my point...

Isn’t it amazing we don’t crash into each other more than we do on our highways and streets? Think of all of the unlicensed drivers and drunks and the crazies texting and keeping their phones low while they drive fooling no one. Wouldn’t you expect there to be more pile-ups than there are?

Same thing can be said with the animals running rampant on our public lands. Nothing makes me feel better than to see a bandana-wearing dog sniffing the ground for either food, dead bodies, water, drugs or some kernel of interest that makes the animal tear apart the earth with its paws and rip away roots with its wet teeth. Then right behind Rabid Possible Doggie struts a dude in a Hawaiian shirt missing most of its buttons, revealing a huge gut and a trail of beer sloshes down the side of his mouth as he reassures you that Bandit is cool. He’s just having fun.

Yeah, I feel better now. Thanks dude.

So without getting into the deeper ethical issue like: If your pet was in a burning building and another human stranger was also in the same burning building and you could only save one. What would you do?

I’ll come back to that later...Much...

Here’s the deal. We live everyday with other fellow humans with the silent understanding: We all know what we’re doing. If you ask the average person, they’re going to say, “I think I know what’s going on.” Otherwise how can you be for or against something if you don’t know how you feel about stuff?

It’s only when you get them alone with the Vino Veritas that you might get a truthful line like, “I’m a complete fraud. If people found out who I really was, I wouldn’t last in my (job, relationship, condo association, you fill in the blank) for a minute.” As humans, I think we display the elitism of behavior. Nowadays, this is especially true with all those bloggers...

But I digress...

But what I really think is we are selfish people. We don’t think about the person who is scared of our dog because...because, we think we know our own dogs. The same way we think we know ourselves. We really don’t know how we will act like when we perceive that we are being threatened any more than can we explain why our pooch all of a sudden bit your daughter. Maybe she was teasing it? Poochie never did that before.

I wonder when a guy snaps and shoots up a building or a school or maybe blows up a plane, was there much evidence before hand that this guy was the blowing up kind of guy?

I’m just saying how well do you know your own dog? Do you lavish praise on it because it does what you want it to? Or do you have special bound that tethers you to the beast stronger than any leather could? That’s there’s a special understanding with your animal that no one else would understand, or could have? Like your dog gets you when others don’t?

Isn’t that what trust is based on?

And you know what the problem is with the homeless?

I don’t trust them.


More later...


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Reader Comments (1)

good stuff...thx for, ruf ruf, sharing...

So my brother (not the runt of the litter either) walked into a bar (irish setter) and asked for a beer. With that a man at the bar said I don't want to drink at the same bar as this dog (animal hater!). The dog (my brother) and the man got into a fight (my moneys on the dog) and the man shot the dog in the foot (oops, forgot about our crazy gun laws in this country). With that the dog yelped out of the bar and down the street (live to fight another day...a key irish creed).

A week later the same dog walked into the same bar ( comes the woop ass), this time he was wearing a black hat, a black vest, black chaps, black boots, a black gun belt with a pair of black colt .45's one on either side, and a black bandage around his sore foot. He goes up to the bar and says to the bar tender "I'm looking for the man that shot my paw"


March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFido

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