Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Posts From the Way Back Machine #2: On the Bowel Movements of Canines

Canis lupus familiaris, or the common dog, was first domesticated some 17,000 years ago in East Asia. This taming of a wild beast marked a momentous point in man's history. Our first and best friend was born - no longer need we feel alone or fear the night.

Though overwhelmingly positive, this new relationship was not without its tensions. Indeed, from it were born two enduring questions we still struggle with today: Why does our "best friend" shit on our floor and how can we get him to do it somewhere else?

A Macanese sign depicting man's displeasure at his companion's core biological function.

Given the site of domestication and ensuing long relationship with our canine companion, it is appropriate then that we turn east for answers. The Japanese, in their wisdom, engineered a dog that does not poop. Meatware dogs everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief when Sony discontinued the AIBO in 2006. Given that our pets are (for now) destined to be products of biology, Hong Kong has developed a less radical approach.

Conveniently placed alongside trails and popular dog-walking streets, the 'Dog's Latrines' of Hong Kong offer an elegant answer: Give the dogs toilets.

Simple though it seems, the solution is not ready for immediate export. Despite concerted efforts by special interest groups, canine literacy rates in the US are abysmal, among the lowest in the world. What kind of friends are we if we don't equip our companions with the skills necessary to participate in polite society?

It has been some time since the Farang team has taken up an animal rights cause, and we are of course hesitant to do so again after the ensuing debacle, but we wholeheartedly believe that canine literacy is an issue worthy of your senator's time. Please, before you close the page because your boss is coming/get up to go to the bathroom/run to the freezer for a frozen twinkie, take a moment to pick up the phone and call your congressman. Your friend will thank you, and might even be able to find the bathroom.


Anonymous said...

Some guy at a park once wanted me to sign his petition so that banned dogs could be welcomed back to said park.

I adamantly refused, and when he asked why, I pointed to a recently-deposited offering nearby. I had a few choice words for him, too, but we don't need to get into that.


Anonymous said...

You certainly don't want to get involved in a nasty conversation about dog poop!

BTW, I think the capsule machines were great. Can you get plastic unagi? I won't touch the real thing.