Thursday, June 09, 2005

Animal Planet Owes Me $330. So Far.

I've tried to explain, or understand, my attachment to Animal Planet's series of shows about righteous cop-types saving starving, abused pets from bad guys, nurturing them back to heath and finding them new, loving, non-abusive homes so that they may live happily ever after, such as "Animal Precinct," filmed in New York and "Animal Cops," filmed in the wrecked streets of Detroit. (Detroit is my favorite, for the mangled cop-ese that the Detroit "Cops" use in describing their actions for the camera - lots of "I ascertained this," and "the perpetrator that," plus its fun to guess what the awesomely laid-back, corn-rowed dude is really thinking. He is deliciously inscrutable.)

I don't know why, I just find myself tuning it in, especially if there is no one else around to give me a hard time about it. I like watching a dog come in who is obviously down to his last calorie, ribs all showing, backbone sticking out, and then seeing him later - sometimes no more than a couple weeks later, all fattened up and shiny-eyed and frisky. The thing that really pisses me off about those poor little starving ones is that when they pick up the "perp" to take him or her down to book 'em at the station, they are always fat. Doesn't that just piss you off? It does me.

On the animal cop shows, they are always booking people for failing to get their dog or cat or iguana the veterinary care that they require. Dogs are running around with big open sores on their leg, or big ol' tumors hanging off them, or so much matted hair that it's hard to tell where the face is, or cats are going blind from poor nutrition. They was always gonna. Or their vet told them that Blacky's just fine with that tumor hanging off her. It don't hurt her none.

Now all that booking of negligent pet owners has cost me big time, and I want Animal Planet to reimburse me in full. I've become so paranoid about the animal police showing up at my house that I've taken my cat to the vet so that he can tell me that she stubbed her toe on something (cha-ching: $90), and now I've taken my dog to the vet for full hip x-rays, just to find out that she is a lazy-ass (cha-ching: $240). At least her teeth are clean now, since I had them throw that in while she was out (yes, they have to knock her out for x-rays).

I was so sure that she was suffering from the same arthritis and hip dysplasia that our last collie had (and suffered in manly silence, I might add, except for an"oy vay" groan when lying down for the night). She was really slowing down when I took her for walks, and on some longer walks, she would sometimes just find a nice grassy spot and lay down, and look at me like, "well, you can join me if you wish." You can imagine that this made me wonder if everything was okay. She seemed to be acting like a 12-year-old in a 5-year-old body. $240 later, my vet tells me her hips look great, and there's probably nothing wrong that a little Doggy Slim Fast wouldn't cure (which she took offense to, naturally).

The next time I took her for a long walk, she decided to veer off into a nice patch of grass and take a snooze, leash and owner in running shoes still attached. But this time, the Animal Cops were off my back - I had the veterinarian's receipt in my wallet as proof. I told her to get the hell up and walk. So she did. No back talk. Turns out she just thought she had the right to plop down when she saw an inviting patch of grass. Turns out I just had to let her know that she didn't.

Was it worth $240 to find this out? I guess it had to cost $240 to be able to tell her to get the hell up without feeling like an abuser of a hip-dysplasia-broken-down dog. It's not me, it's her. She's the abuser here! And I have the receipt to prove it! So get off my back, Animal Planet, and give me my money back!

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