I don’t know if it’s true for the rest of the Country or not, but where I live the dog is an economic indicator. The fate of the dog is so tied with ours that you can see a direct correlation between the economy and the dog. First, let’s define the dog.
You have foo foo dogs. They’re the ones that generally are balls of fluff or perhaps a small, hot dog with legs. They waddle along on their leashes, feet moving rapidly to keep up with their owners, whom often times seem similar to them. They serve no purpose with the exception of being doted on by their owners and to produce a byproduct that so far, no one has been able to find a market for. On top of that, in some neighborhoods, you actually have to pick said byproduct up after they produce it.
Then you have the working dogs. Since there are no sheep and few goats in my area and the cows are in the union, which doesn’t allow them to work with dogs, they’ve never had jobs in the first place, talk about an economic crisis. I have two dogs that fit into this category. They don’t seem to mind not having a job too much. In fact, we never let them in on the fact that they’re dogs at all. I hope they don’t read this, it would be a big shock to them. They are relegated to being large foo foo dogs and mostly lay around in the air conditioning and bark at the occasional squirrel that plays in the dogwood tree sitting in front of our house. Being perpetually unemployed is tough.
Then you’ve got the guard dogs. They run around your yard and bark at anything that annoys them, basically annoying you and your neighbors in the process. Many of them have jobs as lookouts and sentinels for drug dealers, a job that continues to prosper no matter the state of the economy.
Then there are the hunting dogs, which run through the woods hot on the tail of some animal who is scared out of its mind while rednecks with guns are hot on theirs. Wait a minute, I do that. My dogs probably hope I’m not reading this.
Then you have the most rapidly expanding kind of dogs, the homeless ones. They roam the streets of your neighborhood and turn over garbage cans. They harass foo foo dogs while they attempt to produce the product that all dogs produce that has no discernible market. They bark, chase and even bite you when you try to take out your trash and scare the mess out of you when you go outside at night. They are the first sign that the economy is bad because their numbers grow rapidly when it goes south.
Now I imagine that all dogs suffer when the economy slows down. Their treat selection is the first to suffer. Ours went from a large cabinet from the floor to the ceiling in our kitchen to one shelf in the same cabinet. If the truth be known, they haven’t lost anything and now have fresher treats than they did before. Our treat cabinet has taken the brunt of the slowdown. They may have noticed a slight difference in the temperature of their environment because we adjusted our thermostat due to the price of electricity. It’s a little bit hotter in the summer and a little bit cooler in the winter. Looking at them on the couch, which they actually believe in their hearts that they own, I don’t think they’ve noticed at all. They still get to watch Wheel of Fortune every night.
They may have to deal with a few fleas, since the flea meds get stretched a little further apart now, but scratching fleas gives them something else to do as they are currently unemployed anyway. You know, now that I think about it, the economy hasn’t changed my dog’s life much. Now instead of rib eye and ham steaks, which they only got one bite of, we eat ham hocks and neck bones. We get less, and their portions are bigger. One of them just looked at me and smirked, I swear.
Even the hunting dogs are getting a break. With the price of gas being more per gallon than beer, hunters don’t actually go hunting anymore, but hang out at the watering hole closest to their homes and drink, leaving the dogs to lay around in the back of the truck, their main function being an alibi for their owners. If you asked the wives, they would probably tell you, they are just glad their husbands are out of the house, and the dogs are out of the yard.
I guess dogs really aren’t economic indicators at all, just dogs. No matter how much I like mine, they all still have only one thing in common, you put money in one end and, well, you get the idea of what comes out of the other.