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The Mom is obviously and rightly enamoured of the many virtues of a dog. Frequently, I am issued with emails, links, posts, and even clippings from the papers back home decrying these many virtues. And just as frequently, I am subject to her comments, which run generally along the lines of: See? I told you dogs were better than people.

As though I needed convincing.

I have been well aware of the pre-eminence of dogs over people – especially in our house – for many, many years now.

Though this fondness for finding dogs jobs is becoming slightly worrying. The neighbours over the road frequently give The Mom their dog in order to pick up their child from school. The three walk home happily, and spend the after school hours playing games, eating snacks, and generally doing almost everything The Mom would do, but you know, together. (I don’t think they watch CNN but that’s only because the young child is too clever by half and might be rightly alarmed by the news).

But, now I’m imagining a rather different scenario.

The Mom and The Girl come home with The Dog. All looks normal. Until they get inside. At which point, The Mom turns into some high-powered CEO.

“Right, so it looks like we’ve got five jobs come in since yesterday,” The Mom would say. “Who’s available?”

The Girl would consult her spreadsheet. “This dog is booked solid for the rest of the week. We’re going to need extra staff.”

Both would then look at The Dog who would somehow understand their knowing glances and rush immediately for its leash. And off they’d go on a recruitment drive.

Up and down the paths and sidewalks in the local area, The Dog leaving word, via fire hydrants and tree trunks. An hour or so later, back at the house, The Mom and The Girl would be overwhelmed with furry faces barking at the back door.

The Mom, typically, not a fan of organisation, would throw open the door, letting the barrage in. The Girl would meet them with a clipboard and a stern eye.

“Sniffers over there! Seers in the corner by the plant – please do not eat that. Diagnosticians please present yourselves at the front of the queue.”

The dogs, sensing obviously, that The Girl and not The Mom was in charge, would do as they’re told.

The Mom, at this point, would probably be rolling on the floor, delighted to be surrounded by so many happy, fluffy dogs.

“Stop playing! We have work to do!” The Girl would cry.

It’s at this point that perhaps The Mom would get her first warning.

“If you don’t smarten up and take this seriously, your services will no longer be required.”

The Mom, suitably chastened, would try to wipe the grin off her face with little to no success.

“Okay, you, Larbradoodle. There’s an old folks home that needs a cheer-er upper. You’re up.” She would of course tick off the dog’s name at this point. “Don’t forget to get your time sheet signed so we can bill them correctly. I’m donating it to a dog charity – so all the less work-worthy pups can have a good life.”

“Two Labradors, you’re good to go to the hospital. Show them you can diagnose cancer at ten paces,” The Girl would say. The Labradors would nod their heads in salute and with dignity see themselves out.

Next down the list would be the small, sort of yappy dogs that are not quite as popular with our lot. The Girl would look at them, rubbing her chin. The little dogs would yelp and nip around The Girl’s ankles.

It’s at that point that The Mom would have a eureka moment: “I know!” she’d cry with delight. “They can go to the school yard and chase after the kids who litter!”

Such brilliance would obviously merit a high five. And with that, they’d be off.

Frankly, I don’t feel that this situation is far off. I’m glad that dogs are able to smell all sorts of things we can’t  though I for one am glad to not have such a super sniffer, since things smell funny enough to me as it is.

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