|Mog Aherne One Of Life's Observers||
Mog's Dog Free Zone
MOG AHERNE PUP OF THE YEAR REVISITED 1996
Pup of the Year Revisited 
'Pup of the Year', prompts the Wicked Witch of the North.
'Pup of the Year', yourself, Joyce. Nothing happened at that as well. The thing has been running for years, so you know what to expect. Dozens of dog freaks dress up in evening attire and descend upon the Shelbourne Hotel, where the winners of all the previous year's All-Breed Championship Puppy Stakes are judged by an international panel of those weirdos who specialise in these things. This year, there were two judges from Dublin, one from Norway, and one from Norn Island.
Lights flash, music plays - well, when I say music I use the word in the loosest possible sense. Someone on the Committee, certainly not me, decided that the music to which the entrants were to parade should, how shall we put it, more accurately reflect the culture of our times, and assembled a tape of the most sinus-scratching mindless drum-machined disco drivel it has been my misfortune to suffer in some time. As I was the Committee member assigned to perpetrate this atrocity on the unsuspecting public, I seriously considered hara-kiri, but eventually kept my head down and hoped no-one would connect me with the crime. The climax to this homage to youth culture was to be a Rap opus entitled 'Boom the Room' (You know Rap - a bunch of semi-shaven black men with woolly hats and saggy crotches ranting about everything in a complaining monotone thus -
'Whut dat dere,
An American Cocker?
Me an' de bruddas gonna ice de mudda - etc')
But at the critical moment I lost the tape.
Other than that the function ran with its customary efficiency and good humour, which was nice, as this marked the Fat Controller's final year as Secretary of the competition. The Fat Controller, by the way, is the new title for my beloved wife, formerly known as the Dragon Lady. Regular dognostics will be aware that this column was last year the subject of a fatwa by the feminist wing of the Singapore Kennel Club, who considered the term Dragon Lady disrespectful. I hope the change will placate them.
Of course, as someone said, events such as this resemble a swan. All anybody sees is the graceful effortless glide across the still waters, while beneath the surface the feet are going like billie-oh. Similarly the Pup of the Year. As the glitterati of Irish dogdom (dog dumb?) prepared to dance the night away (yes, I engaged the band. Yes, I know. But they were good when I heard them earlier.) the Rottweiler was taken outside for a walk, where he encountered a friendly motorcycle cop, all helmet and yellow jacket and huge gloves.
I am going to pause there, because I am reminded of a true story about the Irish Parachute Club, another bunch of weirdos, and what happened to one of their members some years ago during a night drop over Edenderry. It may be difficult to comprehend, especially if, like the FC, you suffer from Fear of Flying (Bigglesophobia), but there are people, visually indistinguishable from the rest of us, who voluntarily board aeroplanes and then, after the thing has staggered into the air without crashing and is thousands of feet high, jump out. As a special treat, advanced sufferers of this insanity get to do this at night, to which end they are equipped with a special helmet incorporating a powerful light. Anyhow, one night, one of these maniacs became disoriented and came to earth in a dark bog. Totally lost, he was relieved eventually to see the lighted window of an isolated farmhouse. The door was opened by an old man.
'Could you please,' asked the intrepid parachutist, 'give me some idea where I am?'
The farmer looked in trepidation upon this midnight apparition, with the harness and the helmet and the light.
'Earth', he said.
Meanwhile, the policeman and the Rottweiler.
'Hello there, boy' said the policeman heartily, slapping the Rott matily on the head. The Rottweiler looked in trepidation upon this midnight apparition, with the helmet and the yellow jacket and the huge gloves, and bit it.
Even the policeman agreed, as his life-blood pumped over several members of the Committee, that the animal had, in the circumstances, behaved in a perfectly reasonable manner. You don't thump a strange Rottweiler about the head in the middle of the night without risking some adverse consequences, particularly if you are disguised as Judge Dredd. So bandages were applied, sympathies extended, hands shaken, and the cop left, apparently mollified. A few minutes later he could be seen in the street outside, grimly affixing parking tickets to everybody's cars.
I should emphasise that this Rottweiler is a lamb, as long as you don't assault it. He permitted me some inexpert ear-fondling earlier in the evening, which is more than the Fat Controller will, unless drunk.