Sheila the Family Wonderdog is one proud pooch today.
Watching the news between her 22-hour naps and catered meals, she learned that a dog was included on the raid that brought down Osama bin Laden in his million dollar goat pen in the luxurious suburbs of the world's great tourist destination, Abbottbad, Pakistan. A dog. Hanging out with Navy Seals. Dang. Life doesn't get much better than that.
Sheila first heard it was a cat that was with the Seals that took down the Scum Bag of the World but that rumor was quickly dispelled. In the first place, cats don't care about anything but their own welfare. Terrorism means nothing to them. Cats are not team players. They would rather scratch the furniture and act snooty. (Hey, don't get mad at me. I am only telling you what Sheila and her friends believe.)
As proof, Sheila wonders if you have ever seen a drug-sniffing cat (I'm not talking about catnip) at the airport or a snarling cat behind a chain link fence at a junkyard daring somebody to come in and steal an automatic transmission. She didn't think so. She could just imagine one of bin Laden's platoon of wives screaming as the good guys broke into the place, "Oh, Allah Almighty, they've got a cat! We are doomed!"
The first thing the cat would have done when it hit the ground, Sheila surmises, is start whining for a saucer of milk and a bowl of Friskies. First things first.
Instead, it was a dog that came with the Seals. Real dogs don't eat Friskies and they don't care that much about milk. Just a little Alpo and some water and they are good to go.
There was another rumor going around that Navy Seal dogs have titanium teeth. Sheila just about laughed herself silly over that stupid story which turned out to be false. Dogs don't need titanium teeth to take a serious plug out of you. What God gave them works just fine. Besides, if you have a German Shepherd or a Belgian Malinois bearing down on you, chances are you won't have the time nor interest to check out their dental records.
What really has Sheila pumped is that the military sees an important role for dogs. A Great American, Gen. David H. Petraeus, soon to be head of the CIA, has stated publicly that the military needed more dogs. "The capability they bring to the fight cannot be replicated by man or machine," he said. Notice he never mentioned cats.
Even the snooty New York Times, which Sheila values only as target practice when she can't get outside, said about dogs in a recent article, "Its use in the raid reflects the military's growing dependence on dogs in wars in which improvised explosive devices have caused two-thirds of all casualties. Dogs have proved far better than people or machines at quickly finding bombs."
Cat lovers may protest Sheila's slings and arrows at their outrageous misfortune of not having been a part of the raid on Osama and his mommas. They will probably say that lions and tigers and leopards are cats, too, and they are pretty fierce. A point well-made. However, I doubt there is a lion or tiger or a leopard alive that would have voluntarily agreed to go along on this mission. They would rather ambush unarmed gnus. That is lot less hazardous to your health than jumping a bunch of ruthless terrorists in the middle of the night.
We need to cut Sheila a little slack for her attitude. To have a dog along on one of the most successful raids in our history is no small thing to her and her friends. Just as the U.S. has looked powerless to deal with jive-talking Islamic terrorists until bin Laden ended up as shark bait, dogs had begun to resemble a bunch of stupid little yappy things with bug-eyes and rhinestone collars. An embarrassment to Canus Lupus Familiaris.
Now, the United States has sent a signal to the bullies that if you mess with us, we are going to mess with you back and when we do, we'll probably have a dog with us. A real dog with real teeth and a very bad attitude. I can't blame Sheila the Family Wonderdog for her pride. As a matter of fact, I feel the same way about the Navy Seals.
Reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.