You know what urban legends are, don’t you? They’re stories that are just too off-the-wall to be true, but they have enough truth in them that people believe them.
A lot of urban legends have to do with dogs. That’s probably because dogs are such a huge part of our lives.
Anyway, I got thinking about urban legends as they relate to dogs the other day. Let’s talk about a few of them, because a friend of mine actually told me one. All I could do was smile while thinking “You’re nuts” as she told me the time-honored classic about the Doberman with the fingers in his throat, complete with the name of the vet who supposedly removed the fingers! You might know this one, but if you don’t, read on. Here’s how it goes.
Sally comes home from shopping one day, and finds her Doberman choking and gagging in the entryway of her house. She rushes him off to the vet. The vet says there is something stuck in the dog’s throat, and he will have to do a tracheotomy. He tells her to go home, and he’ll call her when the operation is finished. No sooner does she get in the house than the phone rings, and it’s the vet saying, “Get out of the house right now! I found fingers in your dog’s throat! Get out and call the police!” So she runs next door, calls the cops, and they arrive and find a burglar cowering in a closet, minus his fingers.
It never happened.
A Swiss couple was vacationing in Hong Kong. They took their poodle to a restaurant with them, and asked the waiter to give her some food. The waiter took the dog back into the kitchen, and meanwhile, the couple thought about what they would like to eat. Then they submitted their order.
To their horror, when their food was delivered, there was their dog, nicely roasted.
It never happened. Why? Well, if you think about the way Asians typically prepare meat, it’s usually more of a garnish. Meat is typically cut into tiny pieces and used in conjunction with a lot of rice or noodles, and a pile of veggies. Roast dog? Nope.
Oh, and besides? Why would you think that any restaurant would sell you back your own dog, instead of just chopping it up and feeding it to any number of patrons, if that was what they had in mind. You’d have to know that at the very least, you’d leave without paying for your meal, probably rush off in horror to the local cop shop and then at the very least deliver a bad review on TripAdvisor. I mean, let’s get a little real here, people! Roast puppy simply doesn’t happen.
Here’s another golden one. Supposedly a dog had to be put to sleep because of liver failure due to ingesting Swiffer Wet Jet fluid. The theory is that it contains antifreeze.
Antifreeze is toxic to dogs, but it is not a component in Swiffer Wet Jet fluid. These claims are totally bogus. In fact, your dog could probably drink an entire bottle of Swiffer Wet Jet Fluid and not be harmed – it does not contain antifreeze.
Now, if your dog does drink antifreeze from a leak under your car, then there is a very good chance that he will be poisoned. Antifreeze is highly poisonous to dogs. But there is no antifreeze in Swiffer Wet Jet Fluid, and in fact, if you dog ingests it, or licks it off his paws after you are done cleaning your floor, there will be no harm done. He might get a bit of an upset tummy, but that’s it.
With that in mind, I have no trouble at all recommending that you buy the Swiffer Wet Jet Spray Mop Floor Cleaner Open Window Fresh Scent Multi-Purpose Solution, 42.2 OZ, 2 Bottles It’s just $10.45 at Amazon for the double pack. Great deal, and no chance of harming your dog.
Urban legends usually have a bit of a basis in truth. Usually, they have to do with fear of some sort – with the Doberman and the fingers, the fear is that of a woman living alone. The roast dog story is obviously rooted in xenophobia – we fear other cultures, and we assume that when we deal with them, things are going to go horribly wrong. The antifreeze in the Swiffer solution is of course based in the love that we have for our pets, and the fear that something will happen to harm them.
You see a lot of this stuff on Facebook, and you wonder what is true and what isn’t. Usually, urban legends begin with “I know someone who knows someone…” It’s hardly ever “This happened to me.” So if it’s not right from the source, chances are that it’s an urban legend.
Also, think about what makes sense. Does it really make sense to think that a vet would tell you to go home while he does a trach on your dog? If he does, you may have the wrong vet. Check out my article Vetiquette 101 to learn more about what you should expect from your vet, and also what your vet should be able to expect from you.
Now, moving right along, does it really make sense to think that a culture that doesn’t use a whole lot of meat in their cuisine is going to offer up a fully-roasted dog, of any size? Does it really make sense that any manufacturer of any household product is going to offer up something that will harm a beloved household pet? If it doesn’t seem to make sense, then it probably doesn’t make sense. And if the answer to any of these “Does it make sense” questions is a resounding “No,” then chances are that you are not hearing the truth – it’s just an urban legend.