In my adult life I have owned several sausage dogs and one huge ridgeback.
Recently I decided I preferred the serenity of living with cats. Dogs require a lot of energy and I am not energetic. I confess though that I have never brushed a dog’s teeth. I have never known a dog owner who has brushed a dog’s teeth. Not one of the many border collies that worked on the farm had its teeth brushed. Wild dogs and wolves have existed for millions of years without brushing their teeth.
I was bemused to read an advertisement for pet products recently and to discover “vets recommend that daily tooth brushing is the best way to take care of your dog’s teeth”. I try to imagine brushing the teeth of any of the dogs I have known and my mind boggles at the thought.
Schatzi, the dachshund, would have eaten the toothbrush and Tarzan, the ridgeback, would certainly have bitten me.
I have read all Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories many times and can’t recall a single mention of Akela, the old grey wolf, brushing the teeth of the Seonee pack. But now, apparently, vets, recommend it. I wonder what pet recommendation will come next. Eye make-up for your bulldog? Mascara for your hamster? “Use Footso for healthy chickens and Kok-Up to add lustre to your rooster’s comb. Something to crow about.” Toothpaste for dogs? Hah!
A man walked into a bar leading a small dog. The dog saw a piano in the corner, jumped up on the stool and started to play. He played cool jazz and a Johann Strauss waltz.
Suddenly the doors swung open and a large dog burst in, grabbed the little dog by the scruff of its neck and dragged it out of the bar. There was a shocked silence, then the barman said: “What was that all about? The dog was playing beautifully.”
“That was his mother,” said the owner of the little dog. “She wants him to be a doctor.”
* "Tavern of the Seas" is a daily column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.