Thursday, March 29, 2012

Staying Naked Makes Their Terrier Merrier

SOME MEMBERS of the Bare Platypus staff own a Yorkshire Terrier dog for a family pet.  There are many annoying things about this pooch.  He’s usually more spastic than a junkie on crack, for example.  He “yarks”---a combination yelp and bark---at virtually anything.  He runs down the street if he gets loose too.  But the dog has one very impressive quality: he HATES when anyone in the family puts on clothing. 

Pull on a shirt or a pair of pants and the Yorkie promptly goes into his “yark” and directs it at the clothes repeatedly.  Believe it or not, this dog’s even been known to try to pull loose-fitting garments off!  Hey, maybe Lassie could tell June Lockhardt that Timmy fell in the well, but our Platypuses’ pooch would bark at Ms. Lockhardt for putting on clothes!

Why?  We speculate that the Yorkie has learned that clothed caregivers will likely leave home soon.  Once gone, there’s no one to fetch food and water, no one to let him out, or to give him companionship (his favorite attention is a nice, soft, repeated petting). 
Whatever the reason, this dog possesses a special ability indeed. But he isn’t the only dog to recognize that clothes are bad news.  Godiva, the German shepherd mascot at clothes-free Terra Cotta Inn of Palm Springs, California became world-famous. She eyed any dressed person with suspicion as a stranger who didn’t belong, while showing great friendliness to anyone in a birthday suit. Similarly, the owner of a now-closed nudist club in South Florida known as Southern Exposure had a pet Chihuahua. It didn’t like the owner in clothes because this meant he would soon leave.

Dogs are great judges of situations at times.  Of course, plenty of cats will disagree.