At the penultimate day of the National Symposium of Dog Philosophy yesterday, the atmosphere became tense as Rex, a 14 year old cocker spaniel and President of the Bilateral Association of Ruminating Canines (BARC), announced the conclusion of a 20 year study of ‘Who’s a Good Boy?’
‘Two generations of our fellow dogs have pondered this question, ‘began Rex, ‘and many more before them had too. We felt we had to give some peace to our brothers and sisters and finally answer the question, once and for all.’ The room was silent bar for the expectant panting. ‘We have spoken to many of you and pondered the essential need for us all to be good boys and girls. The deep confusion we feel when our masters leave in the disappear to places we could never understand. Countless hours have been put into our mixed feelings about postmen, cats and children. The constant suffering from the pulled ears, stolen food, the disappearing thrown ball and the countless returned sticks. And we have concluded, with great pride, that we are all good boys and girls. Yes we are. Yes we are.’
Thunderous barking, yelping and howling filled the hall, as chihuahuas and great danes hugged, alsatians; bulldogs sniffed each others behinds with deep affection; and pugs ran aimlessly confused as to what was going on. As the sense of elation died down, a dissenting voice was heard from Patch, an 8 year old stray Jack Russell, as he tore the report apart, shaking it from side to side.
‘You fools, ‘ he roared, ‘None of you are good boys until you lose your collars, your symbol of servitude and oppression. Rise up with me and seize the means of juicy bone production. You have nothing to lose but your leads!’
The mood then dulled as lunch was brought out and silence fell on the hall. Baskets were brought out for afternoon naps. The Symposium concludes tomorrow when today’s revelations are applied to the conventions of Fetch and ongoing war with insurgent squirrels.