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January 5th, 2010 Edition

QQ Dear Max,

I’m an Indianapolis Colts fan. (As all clear-thinking people and dogs should be.) And I am torn about them sitting their starters the past two games to protect them from injury for the playoffs.  They gave up the chance to have a perfect season. That irks me.  On the other hand (paw?), if Peyton Manning got injured, they’d be screwed. Where do you come down on this topic?


Pigskin Perturbed in Peoria

Dear Perturbed:

I’m a football fan, too. I like the Colts, because unlike many other teams, they never use the Wildcat formation. (Blegh!) I also like Peyton Manning. Not only is he a future Hall of Famer, but he’s still the funniest athlete ever to host Saturday Night Live. I actually saw the game you’re talking about, since I can only watch Air Bud: Golden Receiver so many times. I’ve never seen such an irate crowd. Yes, I think the Colts should have gone for the undefeated run.

The offensive line has always protected Peyton very well, and he’s never had a serious injury. If the Colts wanted to rest Peyton, that’s understandable, but they should have done that from the get-go. Instead, they let him play for more than half the game, and then yanked him (and other key starters) with the Colts nursing a small lead. The fans were booing, the starters appeared disgusted, and it left all parties with bad tastes in their mouths. Kind of like this green kielbasa I found in an alley once. But that’s another story.

Ironically, one a week later the New England Patriots decided to start Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker in a game that didn’t matter for playoff seeding — and he suffered an awful season-ending knee injury. So… there’s an argument to play it safe.

What would I have done? I’m a dog. I live life to the fullest. I chase after shadows, bark at loud noises and will protect my turf with near-rabid tenacity. (Don’t call 911. I said near-rabid.) The Colts should have gone for the jugular, locked on and not let go until blood sprayed everywhere. (Wow, that was dark, huh? I think in my previous life, I was a pit bull.)

Ultimately, though, I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl. “Why,” you ask? Because the NFL doesn’t have any dog mascots, but cats are all over the place. Jaguars, Panthers, and Bengals, are you kidding me?!?!

QQ Dear Max,

People seem to always ask you questions about themselves, but I would like to know a few things about you. First off, who is your favorite renaissance artist? I have always been partial to Titian, but obviously have great respect for others, especially Michelangelo. In my mind, Donatello was kind of a hack. I mean, look at his “David.” Unnecessarily sexy if you ask me. But oddly enough, he is my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. If you were a ninja turtle, what weapon do you think you would use? I think I would use a bowstaff.

My final question is: If you could be any other kind of dog, what kind of dog would you be? I have a Chihuahua, but I think she thinks she is a Great Dane because she loves to tussle with the big dogs, and she only sits still if we read the Marmaduke comic strip to her. What will that crazy pooch do next? Anyways, if you wouldn’t be anything other than a Shih Tzu, that is a completely acceptable answer and maybe we can all learn something from you. Thanks for your help. You are a good boy.

- Jason from the suburbs.

    Dear Jason:

    Thanks for the opportunity for me to be a funny furball again, Jason. A twofer, huh? That’s getting more bang for your buck. And guessing from your first question, you’re going to need that extra cash for pizza. And snacks. And beer. And lava lamps. And DVDs of The Big Lebowski.

    (Please note, Max does not condone the use of illicit substances. I’ve seen too many young feline lives destroyed by catnip. And let’s not even get into some of my poor brethren, who have taken to chewing on rawhide every day, sometimes even before noon. Simply shameful.)

    Let’s see… you were wondering about Renaissance art, Ninja Turtles and something called a “Bowstaff,” which I believe is a piece of expensive home gym equipment that before long, you will primarily use as a place to hang your laundry.

    Art kind of stumps me. Studious as I (obviously) am, I’ve never attended a Humanities class. This is likely because I’m not a human, and no one ever offered a Caninities class. (I mean, just how long can you study Dogs Playing Poker, Dogs Playing Blackjack, or my favorite, Dogs Playing Free Bird?)

    Renaissance artists? Not my strong suit. Heck, until last week I still thought Caravaggio was an appetizer of thinly sliced beef. (Whatever you call it, I’m glad I stole some off the table at mommy’s last cocktail party.) I also believe you were angling for a Titian joke, but I’m way too classy to go there. I mean, I’d hate to make a boob of myself. I’m just keeping you abreast of the situation.

    As for weapons, I have no need for them. I come fully armed with sharp teeth, powerful claws, a desperate need for attention, and a love of belly rubs, having my ears scratched, cozying up on mommy’s feet.

    Oh, and a .38. (Don’t worry. It’s awfully hard to shoot with paws.)

    Finally: Would I be any dog other than a Shih Tzu? What, are you, crazy? Have you seen me? How cute am I?

    (Answer carefully. Remember, I’m packing.)

    QQ Dear Max,

    Sometimes my boyfriend is the sweetest guy on the planet and sometimes he can be brutal. He doesn’t hit me or anything like that but he can be a real bully when he doesn’t get his way or sometimes if he’s just in a mood. Is there like a percentage of “good times” that is a good basis to decide if he’s worth it?


    Pretty In Percentages

    Dear Pretty:

    You know how dogs can just tell when a guy isn’t a good guy? If someone is sweet and friendly, we can just tell, so we’ll start wagging our tails and roll over for belly rubs right away. But if someone strikes us as a threat, we’ll growl and bark and protect our “people.”

    After reading your question, my fur is on end, I’m growling like crazy, and I don’t even need to get in a room with this guy to know he’s bad news. I don’t mean to bum you out by going all Cujo on this one, but this is a serious deal and I need to deliver the straight Shih Tzu:

    A few things you said raised huge red flags. You said “he doesn’t hit me or anything like that.” I’ll be doggone if that’s any consolation. If this guy didn’t seem dangerous, it would never occur to you to bring up such a thing. You said he can be a “bully” and “brutal.” That’s awfully strong language. Take it from a pup who knows what’s behind a bark: Your boyfriend is emotionally abusive. And if you do some research, you’ll see that almost all relationships that become physically violent started off with emotional abuse. Even if things don’t reach that point, you should never have to put up with behaviors like bullying and verbal brutality from someone who claims to care about you.

    Take it from me: There are lots of great guys who will treat you with respect and care all the time. You want to know the percentage? That’s it. You deserve T.L.C. exactly 100% of the time. That’s the percentage you deserve, and no less. Nobody’s perfect. But you can and should always know that you are loved, even when you’re having a disagreement. Go find someone who doesn’t need to feel better about himself by making you feel bad. You’ll find someone great. I know because you’re one of my correspondents, which clearly means you’re awesome.

    QQ Dear Max,

    I got a sweater for Christmas. Yeah, right. I guess they were all out of coal. I’ve been giving my Mistress exasperated “You’ve got to be kidding, bitch!” looks, but she remains oblivious (communicating with these bipedal dingbats is hard without a voice box – as I’m sure you know). How do I tell her to stop this uncool and undignified nonsense? I’m at the end of my leash: the neighbor dogs are laughing at me, and I’m considering running away (or at least forgetting my toilet training).

    - Mortified in Manhattan.

      Dear Mortified:

      Wow, have I ever been inundated lately with puppy prissiness – or is that pissyness? – over overly outfit-obsessed owners. (I really have to get over this alliteration thing. There’s a brand new resolution, people.)

      I hold to the notion that not all canine apparel is appalling. Personally, I have no trouble communicating what I like or don’t like with my bipedal beauty, mi bonita mamacita. (What? If you’re going to buy that I can talk in English, is Spanish that much of a stretch?)

      Mommy knows me like the back of her well-manicured hand. She would only adorn me in doggie dress if it was particularly cold out, or if she wanted to protect me from a particularly sunny day, or if she thought she found something that was particularly adorable, or if she was just bored or drunk. So basically, I deal with it pretty much every day.

      Long story short: As long as your mom isn’t dressing you in Ed Hardy, don’t get so stressed. Any sweater you don’t like, you eat.  Eventually she’ll realize that like Matthew McConaughey, you’re at your best au naturel.

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