Thursday, May 7, 2009

When It Comes To "The World's Oldest Dog," Poodle Bitch Is Unimpressed.

Poodle Bitch turns her back to you when you mention Chanel, the 21 year old "wiener dog."

A dog that is "almost 21" called "Chanel" has attracted so much attention that she recently appeared with those first-class wits, Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, on "The Today Show."

You will excuse Poodle Bitch if she doesn't stand at attention.

The TODAY crew had some fun with ["owner" Denice] Shaughnessy and Chanel, whose wire hair is entirely white with age.

Meredith Vieira joked that now that Chanel’s turning 21, “She can drink whiskey out of a toilet.”

Matt Lauer took advantage of the fact that Chanel is a “wiener dog” to tease Vieira. At the equivalent of 120 years old, he told his co-host, “that makes [Chanel] the oldest hot dog I’ve seen since that barbecue at your place.”

If this is the banter that one gets from watching that "news" program, Poodle Bitch is happy she doesn't rouse herself before nine.

Although Chanel is unfazed by her celebrity, the Shaughnessys’ three grandsons are excited to have a world-record holder in the family.

Poodle Bitch directs readers to the photo of herself looking disdainfully at the "world-record holder." The dog wears sunglasses and a flashy sweater. The dog has certainly let something go to her head. And by the way, Poodle Bitch is dubious about the claims that the dog's cataracts and "chills" necessitate the wearing of such outlandish accoutrement. This dog has gone Hollywood. Poodle Bitch has no problem with that. It is the hypocrisy that she can't stand.

But back to the article:

Impressive as her accomplishment is, Chanel has a way to go to catch the all-time record for canine longevity. The oldest dog ever whose age could be verified was Bluey, an Australian cattle dog that died at the ripe old age of 29 years, 5 months in 1939.

Poodle Bitch laments the fact that we've sunk so low as a culture that the act of not dying is somehow considered an "accomplishment." Especially when we learn that this "world record holder" is not a "world record holder" at all. She is eight and a half years behind the actual record holder.

It is unfair to say that Chanel has accomplished nothing, as tempted as Poodle Bitch is to do so. Poodle Bitch has no doubt that Chanel makes her family very happy (as distasteful as Poodle Bitch finds the use of the word "owner" in describing her human companion). But to claim that Chanel has somehow "accomplished" something, and then to state that she has not accomplished that something, is at best confusing and at worst misleading and insulting.

But it gets worse:

Still, Chanel is undeniably remarkable. At almost 21, she’s in fine fettle, still likes to play, and has just a few physical issues that can be expected at an age that translates to 120 for a human.

The astute reader will note that the author of the article has palpably left undefined Chanel's definition of "play." Moreover, if she is in "fine fettle" then she is by definition healthy in body and spirit. Poodle Bitch has no way of judging Chanel on the latter, but as for the former:

She always wears a sweater or T-shirt when she goes out, even in summer, because she tends to get chilled easily. Chanel also has cataracts and has to wear goggles with tinted lenses to protect her eyes when she goes out. She’s got a bit of a benign tumor on one hind leg, and wears booties to protect the limb.

She also keeps odd hours and gets up in the middle of the night to get a drink, then has to search for her bed. Chanel actually has two doggie beds and alternates nights sleeping in them.

The elderly Chanel has cataracts, gets "chilled easily," has "a bit of a benign tumor" (Poodle Bitch wonders how a tumor can be "a bit benign"- is not the corollary "a bit malignant"?), and wears "booties" (plural) to protect the "limb" (singular). Moreover, poor Chanel is unable to sleep through the night and then cannot find her way back to her bed. Her "owner" has had to provide her with another bed.

Does that sound like a dog "in fine fettle"? Poodle Bitch asks the reader, who is most likely human, to put him- or herself in Chanel's place. Imagine waking in the night, parched, and then after getting a drink being unable to locate your sleeping place.

You: "Well, I've got cataracts, I have to wear a sweater even in the summer, I've got this tumor I'm not quite sure about, and I have to keep it covered all the time. On top of that, when I get out of bed to get some water, I get lost trying to find my goldarn bed. Aside from that, my health's great!"

Poodle Bitch believes it is unlikely one would be happy with such an arrangement, and would hardly be celebrated on a television "news" program.

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