Dial-a-dog is either one of two things: ‘dialogue’ as spelt by the slow kid in your grade-school class, or one of the most whacky business ideas The Spear has ever had.
That’s right; we’re talking pooch pimping, sans bestiality.
The idea would be to have a fleet of ready-to-hire dogs (languid Labradors with some training preferred), available to be picked up by would-be dog renters (or delivered upon request to their homes) for a requested period of time. Upon the end of the rental period the dog would be returned, and any damage incurred by the dog during the rental period paid for - subject to fair wear and tear.
Sure it is not likely to make any money, or to be applicable to countries other than those of the first-world order (mangy strays being in great surplus most elsewhere), nor would the effects on the dogs’ health likely be palatable in reality, but it would meet a genuine demand.
It is on days like today, when The Spear is recovering from a night of self-inflicted epicurean excesses – feeling the obligatory deep-seeded dread and self-loathing of a hangover – that he thinks the benefits of short-term dog-ownership may not go astray.
Something cute to distract one’s self from the ethanol-fuelled introspection; something oblivious to all of the problems of the human world; something to care for; something to do; something dumber than you (you hope, slightly unsettled by the possibility of superior intelligence behind those puppy-dog eyes (they have conned us into picking up their crap after all)).
The problem is, horrible people like The Spear are typically not in the long-term market for cute and furry things which require perpetual love and attention. We – the horrible, independent, young single people – tend to value our horror and our independence equally, and place them above most other things. We are not people to be tied down by the responsibilities of diligent pet ownership.
But that is not to say that every now and again we cannot be amiable to the mutual benefits inherent in the relationship between dog and man, even if it is only for a couple of hours on a regret-laden Sunday. To hire a dog for a few hours would sure add some pep to an otherwise forgetful day.
If The Spear’s mother can be taken as any authority figure on the subject (and he thinks she can; deciding most important decisions of her life based on their potential impact to one dog or another), then the benefits of even indirect man-to-dog contact are obvious:
“You have to live life with dog hair, because it makes you happy.” – The Spear’s mother.
‘Hair of the dog’ indeed.