Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Dog Shows

Silas Peter Ot sent a bevy of angry emails, his carefully sculpted eyebrows bending more with every keystroke. He signed each with his nickname among the dog show enthusiast crowd: 'Spot.'

Those bastards were trying to move the Portsdam show a week because the head judge had a death in the family. Well, that's all well and good, but there would be a few more deaths if they moved it!

Spot checked his calendar. He had a dog show every 29 or 30 days. That's the way he liked them. Regular. Predictable. Monthly, more or less.

He sat back down at his cramped desk, jammed into the corner of the tiny apartment that he shared with his partner, covered with schedules, notebooks, photos, and prize-winning ribbons. He'd won so many ribbons. Scanning over them he tried to calm down and meditate. When he got upset he just wanted to yell and his neighbors told him to knock it off already.

A key slid into the front door's keyhole with a rasp.

"Who is it?" Spot growled.

"It's just me," came the voice of Spot's partner, Jim. He and an armload of paper bags bustled into the apartment.

"Those assholes at Portsdam want to move the fucking show," Spot said.

Jim careened between the couch and the coffee table, forced into a deadly obstacle course to make room for Spot's office, and began unpacking the groceries.

"So?" Jim said.

"So? So? You wouldn't notice, would you?" Spot said, crossing his arms.

"It'll all be fine," Jim said.

Spot succeeded in preventing the Portsdam organizers from re-scheduling the show, and in a few short weeks Jim was leading their wolfhound Bertram through his paces in the talent portion of the Portsdam show.

"How many?" Jim said to Bertram. He held up three big colored hoops. Bertram stamped his foot three times.

The crowd roared its approval. Bertram was the centerpiece to the talent portion of the show, and it was a given among the rest of the competitors that they strove for second place. No matter how they tried, they couldn't get their dogs to display the raw intelligence possessed by Bertram. Many considered it uncanny.

"That's not a dog!" screamed a voice as the judges approached Jim and Bertram with a big blue ribbon with more folds and rumples than a newlywed couple's hotel room bed.

"Humphrey, please sit down," one of the judges said.

"Yes, Humphrey, your fella Nero made a great effort," Jim said.

Humphrey, however, did not leave the field. Instead he tripped down the bleachers and ran towards Bertram, who growled and bared his enormous, razor-sharp teeth. Humphrey came up short.

"It's a werewolf!" Humphrey shouted. He produced an enormous revolver that gleamed in the bright lights. "No dog can count."

Bertram slunk behind Jim's legs.

"Humphrey! Have you lost your mind? Security is on its way. Just set the gun down and go with them. We can talk about this," said one of the judges.

"There! Right there! How does the dog know that this is a gun!?"

"Dogs can smell crazy men!" Jim yelled.

"That does it!" Humphrey yelled. The gun cracked once, twice, three times.

As it did, Bertram bolted out from behind Jim. One bullet struck Jim in the shin and he fell.

One bullet went wild and hit a metal table with a loud clang. The third disappeared into Bertram's fur even as he was already lunging at Humphrey.

All one hundred and sixty pounds of Bertram, muscle and bone and fur, slammed into Humphrey's chest and together they went spiraling head over haunches into the judge's table.

In the ensuing chaos, Jim stood up and shoved off the offers of help and hobbled over to Humphrey calling for help from beneath the dead form of Bertram. He grabbed Bertram's legs and muttered something to Humphrey, whose eyes bulged.

Jim dragged Bertram out of the hall before anybody could react. Humphrey went to jail for six months and was banned from the dog show circuit. Jim refused to testify against Humphrey and along with Spot dropped out of the dog show circuit as well.

A year later, after battling to keep the Portsdam show scheduled, Jim returned to the circuit with a new dog named Lupin. Like Bertram, Lupin had an uncanny ability for feats of memory and intelligence.

The Moral: forget doping in sport, we need to perform routine testing in dog shows for werewolves.

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