People get kind of silly around babies and pets, don’t they? Babies? Fine. All bets are off. It’s like some biological imperative to let the baby know we’re not a threat by acting ridiculous. Pets, though, people fall in to two rigid camps: ‘Getting Cutesy With Your Pets is Idiotic’ and “Mr. Barkington doesn’t see anything wrong with being cute with pets, does he? No, he doesn’t! No, he doesn’t!”
For example, of course, there is “talking for the animal,” which I suspect is pretty common. You know, you say to my beagle, Clancy, “Do you want to go jogging?” Then, while he sits there wagging excitedly, you respond in your patented ‘Clancy Voice,’ “Yeah! Yes I do! Let’s go jogging! I am a jog-gin’ dog!”
Hypothetically, of course. I would never engage in such silliness. I generally address my pets with a curt nod.
Some people – people far less rugged and masculine than I am – might even make up little theme songs for a pet. Take my cat, Sammy, for example. Someone could conceivably make a little song that goes:Sammy cat, Sammy caaaaaat. He’s pretty cute, but pretty faaaaat. He’s Sammy caaaaaaaaaaaat!
If you can imagine…
The one I will admit to being guilty of, though, is the nickname. Our pets have a crap ton of nicknames. The aforementioned Clancy, for example. He’s so used to his many nicknames that if he ever got lost I’d have to put up a poster that read:
Have You Seen Clancy?
35 pounds, beagle, male.
Attributes: very friendly; likes all foods except dog food; probably will be found laying on something soft.
Also answers to:
Beagle Pot Pie
Clanciford de los Pantalones
Honky-Tonk Beagle (Ideally sung to the tune of “Honky-Tonk Women”)
Reward if found: I will write a jingle about you and/or your pets.
What about you? Which camp on the cute/non-cute issue are you in? No, which side are you really on? What nicknames do you come up with?