Love thy animal

” … Stuck some stuffing up its butt and called it ‘Macaroni.'”

No, that really isn’t the real pony Macaroni that Caroline Kennedy rode in her young White House years. What I mean to say is it isn’t a stuffed Macaroni. Nor is it lasagna. It is a sculpture of the famous pony which stands near the entrance to the State Dining Room at the White House.

The pony Macaroni (not to be confused with Boney Maroney who is as skinny as a stick of macaroni) really isn’t the point here. Rather it is how people love their pets and animals in general. If that isn’t something close to a believable statement one should only consider the case of the Burmese phython named Houdini.

Houdini, an Idaho man’s pet snake, intended to swallow a rabbit the other day and ended up swallowing an electric blanket along with the blanket’s controls. I was tempted to say “its controls” but I was afraid someone might mistake that to mean that Houdini swallowed the rabbit’s controls. Apparently the rabbit was all out of controls. Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s not really funny is it?

The snake’s keeper took Houdini to the vet where the doctor surgically removed the foreign matter, likely along with most of the man’s life savings. But I saw Houdini’s keeper on one of the morning television shows this morning and he said he didn’t care what it had cost to save Houdini.

Some people would say such actions were ridiculous, spending so much money on a snake that apparently couldn’t discern a rabbit from an electric comforter. Others would say it was stupid for the news to pay attention to such a story. But the fact is, my friends, people generally love their pets and animals in general. Those of us who have or have had pets generally regard them in some form or fashion as family. When I worked as a newspaper reporter, stories I wrote about animals usually got more of a response than any human on which I wrote an article. If the story was something about hurt or neglected animals, even more people would call or e-mail.

No, newspapers and television are not stupid for doing stories about animals. It really is what most of those who watch or read wants.

I have a great love for animals and I understand the passion of those who love animals, realizing of course there are people who don’t like animals and abuse them. But I do wish people could get as excited about their fellow human beings as they do their pets or other critters. I say that as the Middle East is about to explode with the Israeli-Hezbollah-Lebanon conflict along with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along with the Sunni-Shiite-U.S.-and whomever conflict.

Wouldn’t petting a dog or cat, or even a snake, be a more productive activity than, say, blowing people to bits? I know that’s ridiculously naive. But I thought I leave this thought to chew on for the weekend rather than an electric blanket-filled rabbit.

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