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Subject to Change by Rudy Yniguez: ‘Love is four-legged word'

February 19, 2002

Sometimes one becomes aware of important events through discussions held by one's colleagues. Well, last week there was quite the discussion about dogs, which in reality, is nothing new for the newsroom.

There was talk about the then-pending Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the use of dogs to provide human nourishment, a movie that parodied the dog show and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

With your approval, I would like to address some of each of these.

Let's start at the beginning.

I am a big fan of Comedy Central's "TV Funhouse"; you know, the one hosted by Doug, and featuring the Anipals. My favorite Anipal is Fogey, who likes to eat his own poop. In one episode his New Year's resolution is to stop eating it, and to that end he has taken up eating "I can't Believe it's not Poop."

(It sort of reminds me of smokers who use nicotine patches instead of direct inhalation.)

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Did you know Fogey was an altar boy with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog? Surely you have seen Triumph. He's been everywhere, and is reportedly a frequent guest on "The Conan O'Brien Show."

I enjoy the "TV Funhouse" episode where the Anipals go to Atlantic City and sit in on a stand-up show featuring Triumph.

Triumphs says Atlantic City always has the best audiences … "for me to poop on."

After teasing some woman about humping her leg, Triumph belts out, "Under-age Bichon." It's a touching song about a former love.

Triumph has a great routine, and he has a number of fan sites on the Internet.

Check out Triumph and the Anipals.

One of the events Triumph attended two years ago was the Westminster dog show. At one of his fan sites he can be seen interacting with some of the show's participants.

Due to other responsibilities, I missed most of last week's Westminster show live but I did catch a "look back" at it on USA Network on Thursday.

To ensure I knew exactly what dog shows are all about, however, I took a colleague's advice and rented the movie "Best in Show."

All dog lovers owe it to themselves to rent this movie, but only if you want the truth behind dog lovers.

I wrote down some of my favorite movie lines.

The movie starts in some doctor's office, where Hamilton and Meg Swan are complaining their dog, Beatrice, has been acting withdrawn and unhappy because she saw them having sex.

The Swans knew something was wrong with Beatrice because she had "made a pee pee on the sheets and a poopie in (Hamilton's) slipper."

Then there is Gerry Fleck, who was born with two left feet.

"They had a nickname for me," he says of his school chums. "They used to call me Loopy because I walked in circles."

What more could a self-respecting show dog ask for but a co-owner called Loopy?

Two memorable characters in the movie are the self-described "pair of queens," Scott Donlan and Stefan Vanderhoof.

Here are these two average guys in a butcher shop, trying to decide what kind of meat to get for their shih tzus, when Scott says to the butcher: "Get one of those pepperoni sticks out. I just want to hold it."

What the heck does that mean and what does it have to do with dogs?

This guy Scott is full of interesting things to say — though confusing for those of us who know little to nothing about dogs, or pepperoni sticks.

Then there's Scott's partner, Stefan, who when describing how he met Scott, says, "I saw his nibs here having his way with a borzoi."

Huh?

Of course, there are none more interesting than Buck Laughlin, one of the dog show commentators. As I watched the movie for the second time, it was clear to me that Buck is a true fan of dogs.

When discussing his co-commentator's book on dog obedience, Buck says, "I went to one of those obedience places once and it was all going well until they spilled hot candle wax on my private parts."

If obedience schools use hot candle wax, is it any wonder dogs bark a lot?

Then when commenting on how closely the dogs are inspected by the show's judges, Buck says, "I told my proctologist once, ‘Hey, why don't you take me out to dinner and a movie sometime.' "

Huh?

The most disturbing comment was when Buck says in some countries they eat dogs. I looked up the issue on the Internet, and they eat dogs in some Asian countries, Switzerland and the USA.

I remember years ago reading about dogs going missing in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. It seems certain people were luring the dogs into the bushes, and voilá, doggy tacos.

(To be truthful, I've sampled canine cuisine myself. When I was in Olongapo City in 1978, I was walking down the street with friends when we found a street vendor selling what looked like dog meat. He confirmed it was, and for one peso, I bought some dog-on-a-stick. I have to admit I did it just so I could say I did. Frankly, the meat was sort of chewy; not at all like chicken.)

I guess each culture has the right to live its life the way it chooses; as long as they don't eat cats.

After watching "Best in Show," my only questions are why didn't we get to see more of Jana (Camille Sullivan), the Philly AM Show production assistant, and what does the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show have to do with the movie "Best in Show"?

I guess, the bottom line is all of this makes me realize why I prefer cats, and find dogs to be silly. I mean, think about it: Dogs wag their tails at people because they want to be fed or, as with Meg and Hamilton Swan's new dog, Kipper, they just want to hump your leg.

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