This commentary originally aired on April 4, 2018.
Some months ago we decided to add to our family and we adopted a labradoodle. His calm and demure personality at the time caused us to name him Perry. It was in honor of Perry Como, the calm and demure crooner from years ago.
But it did not take us very long to realize that our puppy had hidden his true nature from us. Puppy Perry’s crazed antics increasingly manifested a countenance that was the very opposite of Perry Como. His mania led a friend of mine to wonder why we hadn’t name him after Ozzy Osbourn. (And let me tell you, this friend knows what he is talking about because he’s an accordion player.)
As the months went on and Perry matured, somewhat, he has calmed down a bit. He’s three-quarters poodle, a breed that’s known for its intelligence. One of the ways Perry displays his Einstein-esque brilliance is by chasing his tail. I believe he does this because he’s smart enough to realize that a tail is not always an asset. I suspect he finds his tail aggravating. After all, a dog’s tail gives away a dog’s thoughts constantly.
Happy thoughts bring wags. Fear or sadness brings a tuck downward. Dogs can’t be obtuse or disingenuous because of that dang tail that’s always giving them away. Our genius labradoodle gets fed up with it now and then and tries to chase the stupid thing away. Pretty smart, seems to me.
Over and over I find myself wishing politicians had tails so we could know their true motivations. But since they don’t, maybe we should just elect dogs to public office. I’ve got a pretty smart candidate in my backyard.