The couple were showering together when he called the hound to join them, in spite of the woman’s clear warning that this would be viewed as an unfriendly act (not to say casus belli). Heaven knows what possessed the fellow. Perhaps he thought she would change her mind on seeing the animal’s eager face and long wet tongue. She didn’t, and the man ended up in hospital with a dislocated shoulder for his matchmaking efforts.
This sorry incident shows what can go wrong when a man’s best friend really is his dog. He takes the pooch bowling and buys it a beer, and before anyone can call a shrink he’s invited it to copulate with his girlfriend, quite literally treating the woman like a bitch. Even if she had acquiesced, I doubt the mutt would have enjoyed it much. It may well have gone through the motions to please its master, but a woman’s body probably seems like a rubber dinghy to a dog – too smooth to get a good grip of and too easy to puncture in the wrong place. The absence of a bitch-in-heat smell wouldn’t have helped either. You can’t expect a hound to be a demon in the sack under those conditions, no matter how horny it is.
Now I’m not opposed, in principle, to humans having pets. It’s all a question of choosing the right animal and having the right sort of relationship with it. An American woman once asked me if gorillas made good pets. “Not for humans they don’t” was my reply. It is always a mistake to share your home with an animal stronger than yourself, as it inevitably leads to confusion about who is the master and who is the pet. Even very young gorillas don’t know their own strength where humans are concerned. I remember a judo black belt saying he’d like to wrestle with an infant female in my band who was making eyes at him.
“Put on a jockstrap first,” I advised. “She doesn’t know what testicles are, and if she thinks yours are gooseberries you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”
He decided, on reflection, to settle for a handshake.
The best sort of human-pet partnership is exemplified by the 18th century pirate and his parrot. The bird is not held captive and can fly away whenever it wants. It only opts to stay perched on Blackbeard’s shoulder in return for high-quality grub from the cook’s table and a prime view of the action. It can also speak its mind freely and contribute its two cents at crew meetings. Incidentally, it is a myth that a parrot will only parrot the views of its owner. These shrewd little creatures always mimic the phrase that will have the most impact.
My friend Smacker Ramrod, the circus vet, once kept a parrot in his trailer. After many weeks of trying to get it to say things like “Pretty Polly”, the bird stayed resolutely mute. Then, quite unexpectedly, it spoke its first words when Smacker was with a woman who’d agreed to spend the night with him. Just as they were starting to undress, the parrot got their attention by clicking its tongue.
“I love your boobs!” it squawked.
Smacker’s delight at hearing the bird talk was tempered by the fact that it had stolen a favourite line he was about to deliver himself. The girl laughed and said “Thanks”. She then reflected on what she had heard and stopped undressing.
“Hang on a minute!” she exclaimed, giving Smacker the evil eye.