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by Sir Tippy Browntrout III, Dsq. (dogsquire)1
Hark, hark! Woof, woof. Pups and other four-foots take note. Being denizens of critterdom does not require that we behave naturally, and being a gentledog betokens that we check our animal impulses in order to attain the refinement befitting our good breeding and our masters’ good taste. In order to assist my fellow four-foots in this endeavor, I have here assembled a brief list of tips to aid those of us who have more fur than not to endear ourselves to the best of those who have no fur at all—at least by our standards. I say old chap, a hearty “woof” to all who can sit and listen, and follow along.
1. When in public, never do The Business further than 50 paces from a designated receptacle. This will better facilitate your hooman’s disposal of your excreta.
2. After completing The Business, never consume your excreta, or that of any other creature, however tempting it may be. Never roll in, paw at, or step in it either. Hoomans find this repellent for unclear reasons. There are many things that look and taste similar to excreta that are more acceptable, such as premasticated piles of beans, rotten eggs, or Mrs. Right Away’s Poo Paste Alternative for Gentledogs.
3. When performing The Liquid Business, always squat and never raise your leg, thus revealing your nether regions. There are more civilized methods of achieving dominance.
4. When gamboling about, one should engage in spontaneous frolic, but don’t overdo it. Remember “the rule of three.” Run back and forth three times, fetch a stick three times, or woof three times and then remain seated and affix your gaze on your master’s face longingly and quietly. Too much excitement in a four-foot is undignified. One should appear playful, but not wild or unhinged.
5. When perambulating in public, a gentledog scoffs at roofians—pardon, ruffians—who strain at their leash, harness, muzzle or other four-foot correctional aid. A gentledog always walks with head held high, at the foot of their hooman, with plenty of slack to spare.
6. Gentledogs do their utmost to stay dry except when encouraged to be wet by their hooman. Especially where toilets and sewers are concerned, never wet yourself.
7. Gentledogs never display hostility towards other four-foots or other hoomans unless commanded to do so by the Hooman Chief. Biting is the domain of savages and barbarians.
8. Yelping, whimpering, growling, yowling, barking and snorting are inappropriate unless the Hooman Chief requests you to do so as part of a trick or amusement. If a hooman request you to “speak,” use only an Oxford English accent or received pronunciation, and have a few lines of classic poetry or Latin phrases at the ready.
9. Mini-hoomans should never be eaten, even if a naughty cat tells you it’s okay. Mini-hoomans—a.k.a. “pups”—are to be avoided, especially since they are allowed to pull on our tails and ears with total impunity. Do not fall prey to feline trickery. They are scamps and rapscallions not to be trusted. They swear allegiance to nothing and no one, and they poop in a box.
10. If you must consume the besmirched diaper of a mini-hooman, be sure to not leave the tapette dangling from your snout at the conclusion of the deed, as this will loudly convey your guilt to any witnesses.
11. Never perform The Business indoors unless you are able to obtain purchase on the Special Bowl used by hoomans to answer this purpose. Remember that it is your hind end that should be poised over the bowl. Never drink the water or graze upon the remnants of your Business, even if The Business floats or attracts your attention in some other way. Use your forepaw of choice to depress the chrome handle of the Business Bowl and observe as The Business is whisked away to another realm—almost as though it never happened at all.
12. Gentledogs always take liquids from a clear glass bowl. They do not leave the domain of the hooman castle unbidden, and when they do venture forth, it is at the discretion and behest of the Hooman Chief. They only go forth attired in the raiment of a gentledog, that is to say a top hat, tails and paw links.
13. At mealtimes, before the designated rest period, and on Sundays, gentledogs fold their forepaws and offer prayers of thanksgiving to Jesus the Christ as best as our limited vocalizations allow.
14. “Idle paws,” it is said, “are the devil’s workshop.” Therefore, gentledogs should aspire to be useful in as many ways as they can, for instance by pulling mini-hoomans in a wagon, by performing amusing tricks, walking on hind legs, jumping through pink hoola hoops, or by aiding the Hooman Police in the apprehension of bad hoomans and dope peddlers.
Good behavior and good character go paw in paw. If you remember these simple principles for right living, you will find yourself much improved and before you know it you will rise above your lowly station from benighted to beloved, from indigent to indispensable, from reprobate to rare, from gangly canine to gregarious gentledog of the highest calibre! Woof!
1 Justin Teerlinck is currently away on a squeezal-hunting expedition, and so Fun Patrol is being penned by guest-author Dr. Horace S. Browntrout. This essay was dictated to Dr. Browntrout by his canine companion, Sir Tippy, and transcribed on his behalf, since hooman paws exercise the best penmanship.To learn more about Dr. Browntrout, go to his website The Dash Fire Diaries: