The Nation's Pulse

A Nutty But True Story

General McAuliffe, call your office!

By 5.15.07

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As Dave Barry has taught us to say, "I'm not making this up."

A piece in the New York Daily News provides further proof, as if more were needed, that satire is impossible today, reality outdoing all but the most perfervid imaginations for zaniness. Your average satirist just can't keep up.

We learn from the News that in New York City, and doubtless in less febrile precincts as well, veterinarians will, for the right fee, surgically implant something called neuticles -- testicular implants for dogs who've had The Big Snip.

The neuticles do nothing physiologically, but look like the real thing. Other than contributing to the vets' cash flow, the idea is that this cosmetic procedure makes the dogs, deprived of their original equipment for demographic reasons, feel better about themselves. Feel that they are real doggie dudes again.

More likely any psychological benefits from this nutty procedure goes to male pet owners uncomfortable with what they have done to their best friends. (With friends like these, nicht?) So long as dinner and the odd snack come along on schedule, dogs, of either sex, don't worry much about what they present to the world. Or about much else, come to that.

I asked my female German shorthaired pointer, Easy, if she was impressed by a fancy package on the back end of her neighborhood dog pals. She said she would think about the matter after she took a nap, but that if the innovation didn't result in her getting another cookie or two, she would likely remain agnostic on the subject. (Outside of the areas of food, chasing squirrels, or the arrival of the mailman, you cannot rely on a bird dog for firm opinions.)

My guess is this will not be a significant revenue stream for vets. Dogs will do fine with or without the new product; they're not ones to try to appear to be men when they aren't.

But other species are more sensitive to gender confusion. Urologists in Washington might do well with a similar product for Republican members of Congress feeling distinctly un-masculine after a hard day of appeasing the left, kissing Nancy Pelosi's ring (or other parts), and abandoning vital principles. These prostheses, no matter how life-like, will never fool the likes of TAS readers. But they may help these guys fool themselves even more than they already are.

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About the Author

Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.