(Note: This post was crossposted from buzz.mn.)
For some reason I have yet to figure out, Beagles seem to run in my family. Although my current situation does not allow me to properly take care of a pet, that doesn’t mean I have to go dogless. My parents own a pair of Beagles, pictured to the left (although that is a fairly old photo now.) Their names are Imola and Minardi (yes, we have Formula 1 fans in the family,) and they are related to each other, albeit from different mothers. My sister and her husband also own one of Imola’s littermates (named Enzo,) as well as an older (and marginally less hyperactive) Beagle by the name of Alpine. This means that I get to go hang around with the dogs pretty much whenever I want, but without having to worry about feeding, training, cleaning up after them or having the house trashed. Grandpuppies, if you will.
Beagles are very affectionate and even-tempered dogs (Imola in particular always seems to want attention,) but this certainly doesn’t make them easy to care for. These two are very high-maintenance, and generally require not one, but two trips to the local off-leash dog park per day to burn off energy and keep them from destroying the house too badly. Even then, they always seem to be getting themselves into trouble one way or another, and can be incredibly hyperactive when they get worked up. They also have a tendency to become incredibly single-minded in their pursuit of an interesting scent (which makes Beagles a popular choice as scent dogs) and tend to bark at just about anything that catches their attention, much to the chagrin of the neighbors. We cannot let them out into the yard unsupervised anymore due to their tendency to escape. Have you ever tried rounding up four escaped dogs running around the neighborhood at once? I would not recommend it.
But I digress. Aside from a convenient excuse to post a gratuitous dog photo, when I was over at my parents’ house this afternoon, I noted this reminder from their vet which came in the mail:
The first thing I noticed was just how far on-demand digital printing has come nowdays to allow something this polished and professional looking to be sent out by a small veterinary clinic (it turns out they have a service to send the cards out for them.) It isn’t just a cookie-cutter postcard with a name printed on it either. It’s a completely customized card with the specific breed and customized information. And it’s not just someone running these off on the office inkjet either, the entire thing looks to have been professionally printed. As impressive as this might look, there’s just one slight problem here:
The last time I checked, none of our dogs could read. Sure, you could have someone slightly more literate and gifted with opposable thumbs take care of this for them, but the result would probably turn out like that old “blah blah Ginger” Far Side cartoon (I won’t link it, but an image search should dig it up.) Even if by some miracle your dog WAS able to read and comprehend the contents of this postcard, what makes you think they would actually do anything about it? You’re talking about creatures that require months of intensive training just to keep them from peeing on your expensive new carpets, I’d have to believe that getting them to set themselves up an appointment to go get their booster shots is probably going to be out of the question. All in all, it’s an impressive effort for something like this, but I just hope nobody over there is wondering why none of the mail they send out is being read by the intended recipient.