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Oh, what a difference a vowel makes (01/24/2007)
By Frances Edstrom

I let the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about in from his daily briefing with the neighborhood dogs, and he was in a real lather.

"The capacity of humans to get up to spectacular mischief never ceases to amaze me!" he sputtered.

I'll admit I rolled my eyes.

"Do humans have no regard for the rest of the species they share this planet with? Is the human response to every little thing always ‘me, me, me!'" he barked.

"Did I forget to fill your water dish?" I asked.

"And I had to hear it from virtual strangers!"

"Hear what?" I asked.

"When were you going to tell me? When was the media going to cover this? Or was it going to be one huge surprise you'd spring on us?"

"First of all," I said calmly, "just because you are upset doesn't mean you can sit on the couch, so get down. Second, take a few deep breaths and tell me what on earth you are talking about."

"On earth! Funny you should use the phrase," he said.

"I didn't mean to be funny," I said. "I meant to find out what's eating you."

"That's it!" he shouted. "Why do you assume there is something eating at me?"

"Um," I said, trying without success to keep the sarcasm out of my voice, "because you are ranting?"

The room was silent except for his panting.

"Tell you what," I said, "why don't I get you a piece of string cheese for a little treat, I'll have some tea, and we can sit down and have a nice calm chat."

"Don't think I don't know what you're doing!" he said, not at all calmly. "It will be a long time before I'll be accepting any treats from you or any other human. We know what you hide in there!"

"You have me baffled," I said. "I have no idea what this is all about."

"Global worming!" he spat out. "Global worming! Global worming!"

"Have you been reading Al Gore's blog again?" I asked.

"Was this his idea?" he said, shocked. "And here I thought he was an animal lover. He has a farm, doesn't he? Does he have cows?"

"Did we forget your distemper shot?" I wondered aloud.

"The dog network is buzzing with it. Humans are convinced they must conduct global worming! Something to do with saving the planet. But I'll tell you something. You'll never get me to subject myself to it. I'd know if I had worms!"

"Oh," I said, "you need your ears cleaned. There's no plot to de-worm the planet's animals."

"Well," he said, not quite believing me. "What does ‘global worming' mean, then, Miss Smarty Pants?"

"It's not global worming, you twit, it's global warming. And that's just a theory."

"Oh, no! Don't tell me what that means until I get a nap," he said, and went to bed. 


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