Best of Grizzard- Spouse Or Fido?

  • Monday, June 10, 2024
  • Jerry Summers

The recent 2024 announcement that 62% of the inhabitants of the “Dynamo of Dixie” own/possess either a dog, cat, horse, crocodile, boa constrictor, etc. brings up the subject of who has to leave the family abode in the event of a downward turn in our booming local economy. Husband, wife, lover (of all types) or your dedicated pet of love and loyalty?

Although prices have risen slightly since Lewis Grizzard dedicated several articles on his beloved half-breed pet lady killer, Catfish, the words of wisdom and affection pronounced in his 1989 literary masterpiece “Chili Dawgs Always Bark at Night” (Villard Books) still rings true 35 years later.

“I've done a lot of nice things for my dog Catfish, the black lab.

I allow him to sleep in my house on a dog bed I ordered out of the L. L. Bean catalog.

I buy him dog biscuits and chew toys, and he often gets leftovers from the table. I gave him a banana once. He ate it.

When Catfish wants out of the house, he goes to the door and barks. I leave whatever I'm doing and open the door for him.

When he wants back in, he scratches on the door from the outside and I open it for him.

Then I read an advertisement in a magazine for Alpo Lite. You've read that correctly.

The Alpo dog food people have come out with a new prod- uct, Alpo Lite, which according to the ads gives the dog "100 percent nutrition and 25 percent less calories than regular canned dog food."

Diet dog food is what we're talking about here. We've got diet soft drinks, diet beer, diet everything, and now we've got a dog food for dogs who want to watch their figures.

I'm drawing the line here. I'm not going to buy Catfish diet dog food.

In the first place, he doesn't have a weight problem. That's because he spends each day chasing squirrels.

He's never caught a squirrel and apparently never will, but he keeps trying and is in good shape for all that exercise.

Also, I can't see buying a special blend of dog food for a dog that has a gastronomical system that can handle anything. Catfish is four. During his lifetime, he has eaten the follow- ing:

• Four pairs of my eyeglasses

• Two television remote-control devices

• Numerous pairs of shoes

• Various sticks

• An Andy Rooney hardback book

• A cassette of Nat King Cole not available in stores I bought off television

• A wicker chair

• A golf ball

• An entire bag of miniature Snickers bars, bag and wrappers included

And the Alpo people think I'm going to go out and buy Alpo Lite because I'm concerned about my dog getting 25 percent less calories than he gets in his regular canned dog food?

Dog food advertising gets on my nerves anyway. They put down a bowl of dog food on television and the dog dives right in. That's probably because they haven't fed the dog in three days.

Otherwise, if the dog is like mine, he has to smell the dog food for thirty minutes in order to stall for something better off the table.

If nothing comes as a result of his waiting, whining, drool- ing, and looking at you with those eyes, he might eat his dog food. But not while you're looking.

As for Catfish, how can I worry about his figure when there is an even greater concern? Ever since he ate my Nat King Cole tape, he barks to the tune of "Ramblin' Rose."

(Although a simple solution to the “choice of dog or divorce etc.” to the possibility of sending the animal on a slow boat to China, the finality of that decision would certainly produce domestic discord.)

* * *
Jerry Summers
(If you have additional information about one of Mr. Summers' articles or have suggestions or ideas about a future Chattanooga area historical piece, please contact Mr. Summers at jsummers@summersfirm.com)
Jerry Summers
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