Friday, August 28, 2009

Muffin survives the death panel

My little dog, Muffin, has no health insurance. There is no universal coverage for dogs, so when her teeth began to fail her, there was a decision that had to be made. Do we spend an exorbitant amount of money to have those teeth pulled, or do we spend considerably less money to put her down? She is old - in dog years, I think she's about 112 or something. So we convened a death panel to determine whether she was still a useful member of canine society, and whether she was worth saving.

The panel was convened on our couch, and Muffin was invited to plead her own case. The debate began with an assessment of her finances. After some quick bookkeeping, we discovered that Muffin actually has no finances of her own, and by extent no means of paying for her own medical treatment. Upon further investigation, we found that since she is very old, and the maxim about teaching old dogs new tricks holds true in her case, she has very little earning potential. Were she to live for even two more years, she would have no means of making enough money to pay for her treatment. She seemed to understand that she was not pulling her weight in our society by making money, and she hung her head in shame. Then she licked herself.

I tried to explain to her that she had outlived her usefulness, and that as an elderly dog she was to be culled from the ranks of canines, a means of thinning the herd. She cocked her head at me, as though to say "isn't that what Hitler did?" I was surprised that she knew the works of Hitler, but then I realized that at the age of 112, she was likely far more familiar with the horrors of Nazism than was I. I did, however, explain that Hitler was a vegetarian and a great animal lover, and that although he would most certainly put her to death were she an old woman, she would have been just fine as an old dog in front of a Hitler death panel. It took me a while, but I convinced her that I was not Hitler. And therefore she was still in danger. She rubbed her face against the couch cushion.

I explained that it was not Hitler, but Sarah Palin who had given me the idea to convene this thumbs-up or thumbs-down death panel. Remembering the name of the woman who was responsible for the shooting of several of her canine cousins from a helicopter, Muffin hid her head under a pillow.

I explained to Muffin that in order to provide her with the necessary medical treatment, I would have to dip into my own savings, since she had no savings of her own. Basically, she has been unproductive her whole life, living off the teat of others, sucking the system dry like a dirty welfare recipient. She looked at me with a very glazed, confused and slightly frightened expression. That could be because she is old, and has cataracts. Or, she could have been wondering why I was clutching a barrel of home-made napalm and a copy of the anarchist's cookbook. And Glenn Beck's book. Just in case that was her concern, I explained that inside my own home, I was allowed to have whatever weapons I pleased and I could immerse whatever pets I choose in whatever substance I choose. As I understand the law of Canada. I was also naked. Not really for any reason except that in my own home, I am allowed to be naked. So why not? She seemed to think it was inappropriate attire for the chairman of her Death Panel, but I didn't care because it was legal. She barked.

In the end, we the Death Panel decided, by a four-to-one vote, that Muffin was, indeed, worth saving. Reason prevailed, and heartstrings were tugged, and appeals to emotion did not fall on deaf ears. Surprisingly, the one "nay" vote came from an unexpected source. As we compiled our entire savings into one giant lump sum, and delivered it to the Animal Hospital in seven unmarked duffel bags, Muffin was going under the gas. Just before passing out, she whined at us, a whine which I understood. I also understood the accusatory glare she shot in my direction. "I can't believe you paid for this", she was saying. "I would never have paid for this! You're a rotten socialist!"

Muffin is now fully recovered. She has fewer teeth, which means that her tongue now sticks out of her mouth funny and she looks like she's sneering almost all the time. I know that, in a small way, that sneer is reserved just for me and my Godless Socialist Ideals. My dog now hates me, not because she is missing teeth and has a shaved leg and has to take painkillers and antibiotics every day, but because I am a pinko commie. Had it been up to her, she would have done the right thing and lived up to her ideals. She would much rather be a dead capitalist than a toothless Communist. I am now ashamed when I look at her, knowing that her moral stance is much stronger and more glorious and laudable than my own. But at least I have my dog back.


  1. The meek shall inherit the earth: Beatitude of Jesus at some point. Perhaps this is somehow etched into the majority of the minds in the country below?

    Glad Muffin is alright, for He will lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

    I'm not really that religious, but it sure sounds cool to say it!!

    Very good.

  2. It does. That's why I quote Ezekiel 25:17 - it just sounds like some bad-ass s*** to say to a M***f*** before I pop a cap in his ass. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men...