That Dog Won’t Hunt (Yet!)

If you're like me, you spend the first, say, six hours of your working day deleting spam from your email inbox.

I get messages advising me on how to enlarge various parts of my anatomy. I get urgent messages telling me where to get super low rate mortgages… in other countries. I get lots of stock tips, and of course I follow them because it's always wise to make major investments based on anonymous tips that arrive via junk email.

Since it's the world wide web, I get junk mail in other languages. I get Turkish spam, which trust me, is no delight. I get Chinese spam too. At least, I think it's Chinese. I have no idea what it says, but I'm sure it also has something to do with somebody's anatomy.

And just when I thought the junk mail couldn't get any worse, I started getting spam for my dog.

The product being flogged, with neon colors and very, very large print, was an amazing new system that will turn my dog into a certifiable “genius.” The advert goes on to say that this system will, for example, “potty train” a puppy, or a “troubled adult dog.” It will also help you teach your dog how to bow, say yes or no, balance on a beam, jump rope, and put his toys away. All this at a low price, and with very little effort on my part.

The spam left me with all sorts of questions and things to ponder. For instance, have you ever noticed how many problems in the world can be solved in just fifteen minutes a day, and for only $19.99? Has anyone ever tried to apply this formula to the need for world peace?

I'd like to know what woman in her right mind would want to potty train a dog. This is because A) Dogs are meant to be housebroken, not potty trained and B) Most women find it hard enough to get the men in their life to put the seat down, never mind the dogs.

And this thing about training dogs to put their toys away &#0151 can it be applied to small children and husbands? (If so, the system is worth a lot more than $19.99)

I'm also very curious as to what constitutes a 'troubled adult dog.' This is because I have known many dogs in my life and they generally don't get troubled. They think in exclamation marks. For example, common dog thoughts might be:

Oh goody! It's suppertime!

Oh goody! It's time for a walk!

Oh goody! A cat! Hey cat get off my lawn!!!!

Oh goody! I can sneak up on the couch for a nap!

Dogs do not think in question marks, as in:

How am I going to pay my kibble bill this month?

Does this collar make me look fat?

Should I be more in touch with my inner puppy?

I wonder if she thinks my tail is too small?

Finally, I have serious doubts about the definition of the word genius, as it applies to pooches. To me, a bright dog is one that can shake a paw, and bark when told to speak. A smart dog is one that can jump rope and tidy up his toys. A brilliant dog wouldn't be balancing on a beam, he'd be balancing my check book. And possibly giving me hot stock picks.

And a genius dog? He'd know how to stop spam, of course.

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