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Acne on the Chin

Episcopalians like to be ahead of the curve. In a New Oxford Note (June 2004) and in the letters section (Sept. 2004), we noted that in certain Episcopalian churches you can bring your dog or other pet to church and walk up to Communion with your pet, where he gets a special blessing or some doggie treats or both. One reason for this is because Episcopalians have few children, but there are lots of childless Episcopalian “partners,” both heterosexual and homosexual, who have dogs and other pets instead of children.

Well, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has caught up with the Episcopalians. According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle (Jan. 5), the Board of Supervisors is requiring that pet owners have up-to-code doghouses. According to the story, “The ordinance says doghouses must be clean, dry, raised off the ground and big enough for the dog to ‘lie in a comfortable position.'” The new law also specifies that doghouses must have, in the words of the law, “sufficient clean bedding material when the ambient temperature falls below that to which the dog is acclimated.”

The law also says that all dogs must have non-tippable bowls. Terrence Lim, Chief Operating Officer of the Pet Food Express chain, says it’s important that dog owners not cut corners by nailing a bowl to the floor or ground. Lim is quoted as saying, “You have to wash the bowls regularly, or bacteria can grow. A dog can get acne on its chin from a dirty bowl.” Oh no, what cruelty to animals!

The story goes on: “The non-tippable regulation was a concern to dog owner Tony Reed, whose Labrador retriever, Sierra, likes to drink from the toilet. ‘I don’t know if my toilet is tippable or non-tippable,’ he said.” So Tony has a problem.

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