|Mog Aherne One Of Life's Observers||
Mog's Dog Free Zone
MOG AHERNE NOTHING MUCH 1995
Nothing Much 
It is a peculiar world we dognostics live in, bounded on all sides by rules and rituals we do not understand. Every other phone call concerns arcane matters of dispute over soundness, movement and rule seventeening. Sometimes we are even sucked helplessly into the mire, as when my help was enlisted in arranging a husband for Sugar (The Most Expensive Bernese Mountain Dog In The World, see last issue), an endeavour involving so much bureaucracy that the bitch lost interest before it could be completed.
But most of the time we are ignored, thankfully, and left to ponder how things got to such a pass.
I wouldn't mind, but getting a dog was originally my idea. The Dragon Lady,
(Oh, by the way, there's a thing. It has been decided by the feminist wing of the Singapore Kennel Club that these articles should not after all be reprinted in their magazine because the term 'Dragon Lady' shows disrespect. Fact!)
Where was I?
The Dragon Lady wanted a G-Plan cocktail cabinet. But I had always wanted a dog, in spite of (or because of?) my grandfather's collie's persistent attempts to mate me when I was little, and in spite of the two dogs we had in my own family, an uncut, unkempt evil tempered toy poodle called Tina and a huge depressive Great Dane called, I give you my word, Waggles.
So I got my way, damn it, and we got out first Papillon, but it wasn't until she was led astray by her friend Liz Wogan (Keeshonds, nice ass, funny accent) that the two of them started showing, with the results so poignantly recorded in these columns over the years.
And so, a quarter of a century later I sit at my lonely desk while Madame Editor savages me by telephone for being late yet again for press day.
But honestly, nothing's happened since last we spoke, Sir made up yet another champion, yawn yawn, and awful daughter Ingrid discovered a Lump on Sugar's stomach (A Sugar lump?) which turned out, after a panic-stricken journey to the vet, to be her navel.
So the choice, dear reader, as always when I've nothing to say, is between the sins of my past life and a joke. This month, joke. Two, even.
Man with a cap goes into a pub accompanied by a very strange animal on a choke chain.
"What the hell is that?", asks a fat man at the bar.
"This", says the man in the cap quietly, "is a Flat-Nosed Long-Tailed Green Galway Fighting Dog. Beat anything."
"Rubbish", says the fat man, "I have a Staffie that'd eat that thing for breakfast."
"£50!" says the man in the cap.
"Right!" says the fat man and went and got the Staffie.
"CHOMP!" says the strange animal, and swallows the Staffie.
"What the hell was that?" says a thin man who's just come in.
"This," says the man in the cap, pocketing the £50, "is a Flat-Nosed Long-Tailed Green Galway Fighting Dog. Unbeatable."
"Nonsense", says the thin man, "£100 on my pit bull anyday".
"Right! says the man in the cap.
"CHOMP ! CHOMP ! " says the strange animal, and consumes the pit bull.
"My, that's a weird looking thing right enough. What is it? says the barman from the mantelpiece on which he is prudently crouched.
"It's a Flat-Nosed Long-Tailed Green Galway Fighting Dog", says the man in the cap. In Africa they call it a crocodile."
A man buys the top-winning bulldog bitch in the world, pays thousands for it, and then his wife won't let it into the house. And just down the street lives a randy mangy misbegotten mongrel who would get up on the squeak of a wheelbarrow. Frantic, the man goes to the vet and asks his advice.
"Make sure all the gates are locked", says the vet, "and to make doubly sure, tie a tablecloth over the bitch. Then, if the dog does get into the garden, he'll think she's a ghost and run away."
Next morning, the man gets up and finds his bitch is gone. Across the road is the mongrel, asleep. Away goes the man down the town asking if anyone has seen the missing animal. No luck. Eventually he comes upon an old man fishing at the end of the town.
"Excuse me", he says "did you by any chance see a dog covered in a tablecloth pass by here?"
"I did not", says the fisherman. "Although, now you mention it, a bulldog went by very fast earlier on with a handkerchief stuck under its tail."