Puffy requests royalties for bulldog on YouTube


POSTED: Sunday, June 28, 2009

This week, Digital Slob takes a back seat to publish, unedited, a reader's impassioned plea:

Dear Digital Slob: My name is Puffy the Pomeranian. Despite the giggles that will generate, I hope you will realize I'm writing you about a very serious matter—the exploitation of my canine brethren on popular Web sites like YouTube.

; While I know there is an inclination among you Kibble Keymasters to give lip service to dog dignity issues, I demand you give this e-mail the respect it deserves. It's taken two-thirds of my life to write, and that doesn't even include the months I spent rubbing my toenails against an oak tree until they were blunt enough to navigate a Blackberry QWERTY keyboard.

If that alone doesn't add enough heft to my words, imagine me talking with a British accent—it seems to work for the 11-year-old girl living upstairs.

Long before recorded history, Man's Best Friend has honored the solemn contract it forged with the Man—getting treats for tricks.

The treat? Usually a small piece of chicken or beef. The trick? Being at least 50 percent responsible for the advancement of human civilization.

Indeed, many scientists suggest that when both humans and Neanderthals were in a toe-to-toe battle to dominate the Earth, it was on-the-hunt teamwork between you cleverer set of two-footers and we tail-waggers that put Homo sapiens over the top.

We led you to the kill, you let us have some of it once you finally caught up, a collaboration that secured your place atop the food chain and relegated that other subspecies to limestone fossils and GEICO commercials.

You're welcome. Consider all this the next time you deny us the left corner of your last Pop Tart.

As your civilization advanced, we adapted to help in any way we could. Got livestock? We'll corral them. Can't see so good? Follow our lead and we'll get you uptown. Got a patch of landscaped suburban neutral ground and 715 plastic bags under the sink? Get the leash—we've got some interesting ideas.

Victims of our own success, the luckiest among us are now little more than entertainers. But even on this front we continue to redefine above-and-beyond. I once visited a dachshund that could steady itself in the begging position for so long his family used him as a camera tripod at their daughter's piano recital.

Regardless, until recently we've been willing to live under the terms of the prehistoric deal we made: The simple fee of a warm bed and a cup of dry food twice a day for whatever we're asked to do, whether it's shake hands, roll over, or bend the rules of Mother Nature to subsidize your very existence. Fine. No grudges.

But now, via the Internet, one dog's noble deeds serve not just a small tribe of mammals, but the entertainment whims of an entire globe.

Tillman the skateboarding bulldog (hsblinks.com/dt) has been viewed almost 8 million times on YouTube. Do you think he knows what 8 million Snausages look like?

It's called performance royalties, people. I appeal to common human decency—you know, that thing we're at least 50 percent responsible for helping you develop?


Puffy the Pomeranian

The house with the pool down the street

P.S. Feel free to exploit cats all you want. Those slimeballs need to be taken down a peg or two.


Follow columnist Curt Brandao's Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/digitalslob.