EPA – Environmental Protection Aussie

My mom and dad, ever concerned about my health and well-being instead of concentrating on their own dilapidated bodies, have increased my daily dosage of vitamin C.  I haven’t had a cold in 12 years.  But, as I have grown older, they are looking for ways to extend my life and ward off illnesses, including but not limited to a myriad of herbal supplements, vitamins, laser treatments, massages, acupressure, and senior canine yoga ( I like the downward dog position).  I can take whatever they throw at me, but excessive vitamin C gives me horrible gas.  And for environmentally-conscious people, they can be oblivious to the obvious:  Climate change is exacerbated by gases released into the atmosphere and manifests in rising (vitamin) C levels.  They probably think that, the more gas I produce, the more C I require.  And this fallacious reasoning will undoubtedly have disastrous environmental consequences, as our household spirals into a chaotic gaseous haze.

I have written to the EPA about this impending disaster, and yesterday received the following reply:

Dear Flapjack,

We have received your complaint and have forwarded it to our Vitamins and Gases Unit for review.  Please note that complaints such as yours typically languish within our various departments, divisions, units, and sections until the complainants die or forget about the complaints, whichever occurs first.  At that point, they are generally misplaced or accidentally destroyed.  In rare cases, we actually investigate a complaint and arbitrarily deem it meritless, or effectuate a remedy which has no remedial value.  We appreciate your correspondence and invite you to contact us when you inevitably feel that we have taken absolutely no action.  We will deem your second response as a new complaint and utilize the process set forth above.  Your friends at the EPA wish you good health through a healthy environment.   

I’m still reeling, but I realized that I had to take this matter into my own paws.  So, I flushed the copious bottles of vitamin C down the toilet (let the fish get gas), and will continue to do so until Mom and Dad get tired of stocking up on it and wondering where it’s going (this could take years).  We all need to be vigilant about climate change and other environmental dangers, and this is one form of vigilantism that I can necessarily condone.  

The Unreachable Star

A seasoned canine like yours truly is quite accustomed to visits with the vet.  Yes, it’s true that, as a young stud I would put on the brakes as I was being dragged into that antiseptic treatment room.  And I would thwart any efforts by the vet and his staff to perform even the most mundane procedures (I once ate an entire stethoscope before it could detect my angrily beating heart).

But now, adorned with the wisdom of the ages, I accept degrading and offensive veterinary treatment with simple dignity and grace.  OK, I admit that this is partly because I no longer have the strength and energy to do battle with the vet and his minions, but it is primarily because I have learned to accept the things I cannot change.  So, I not only go quietly and peacefully to that torture chamber, but I conduct myself with courageous resolve.  It is a sight to behold.  As I walk through those doors toward my periodic torture, I must remind onlookers of Miguel de Cervantes heading for the Inquisition to the tune of “The Impossible Dream.”

My dad is another story altogether.  Talk about seasoned.  If he were a roast beef, he would be encrusted with a 12-inch layer  of salt and pepper.  You would think, therefor, that he would approach his own doctor’s visits as easily as he approaches a haircut.  Sadly, this is not the case.  Today, he had a growth removed from his skin, and you would think he was being beheaded.  Naturally, I was with him as he needed a paw to hold, and I must admit that I took more than a hint of pleasure seeing him experience what he routinely puts me through.  It took all my resolve to stay with him through the screaming, the tears, and the sweat pouring down his face…and this was just the part when he was filling out paperwork.

When it was all over, I led my sweat-soaked hero out of the medical center.  When he said, “See Flap, I told you it would be a piece of cake”,  I just smiled like a parent does when a 3-year old child utters something cute but inane.  The entire ordeal was exhausting.  Later, three hours into my afternoon nap, I was sharply awakened by what I thought was an ambulance siren coming from the next room.  I quickly realized it was the sound of Dad wailing as he changed his bandage.  Simple dignity and grace.  I’m leading by example, but he’s not a dog so it’s going to take awhile.

“And the world will be better for this,

that one dog giving all that he had,

still strove with his last ounce of courage,

to teach the unteachable Dad.”