Freddy – You’ve done it! You’ve hit the big time! How does it feel to be interviewed by an actual writer and featured on the cover of a magazine?
I guess I’m ambivalent. On the positive side, I’ve been inundated with nice notes like yours, and fairly awash in the benefits of unexpected notoriety. Today at The Dog Park for instance, there was a noticeable deference among the mongrels, who now seem to regard me as something of a local hero. Otto and Mikko, a couple of mutts who never let me play with their stupid frisbee, were positively inclusive. Even the pure breeds were conciliatory. The Weimaraner, a notorious snob called Winston, sniffed my bottom with unusual enthusiasm, and lingered far longer than necessary. So I got that going for me.
On the downside, this whole business of “editing” leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Those of you who read the article might have noticed a few questions posed directly to me. I provided my answers, but apparently, my musings were either too verbose for the available space, or too inappropriate for the gentle sensibilities shared by the many discriminating readers of “Tail.” In either case, my replies were truncated with extreme prejudice, and relegated to a modest sidebar at the end of the article. That of course, is unacceptable. If my thoughts are not presented in their entirety, I’m afraid they’re not my thoughts.
Here then, for the bane and enlightenment of men, are my complete responses to the questions originally posed to me.
TAILS: Freddy, you do realize that this fellow you call “The Biped” is absolutely revered on a National level, right? Forbes even identified him as one of the country’s 10 Most Trustworthy Celebrities in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Does this change the way you’re likely to approach him going forward?
FREDDY: It’s hard to articulate my level of disinterest in how The Biped is perceived on a “national level,” especially with respect to trust. Our relationship is strictly local. I trust him to walk me, feed me, and keep me free of worms and fleas. What others may or may not trust him to do is none of my business. (Though it is mildly disturbing that the list you cite is now three-years old. Regarding “trust,” The Biped seems to be trending in the wrong direction…)
TAILS: You recently shared a blog about being perfectly comfortable with your “mixed‐breed” heritage. Could you talk a little more about the lesson you think human beings can learn from this perspective?
FREDDY: Honestly, I have no idea what’s going on with your species. If I understand the headlines left by my pee pad, humans are now demanding the right to legally change their race or gender if they “identify” more strongly with another race or gender. Really? Tell me something – if I choose to “identify” as a female German Shepard, do you suppose The American Kennel Club will hand me a brand new pedigree? Please. Personally, I think H. Sapiens would all be a lot happier if everyone just accepted themselves as the mutts and mongrels they are and stop obsessing about what their ancestors did or where they came from. But what do I know? I was raised by wolves in an orphanage.
TAILS: Mike (i.e., said Biped; please see above) currently hosts a hit CNN show called “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” In your opinion, what are some of the most important things YOU do for him?
FREDDY: Well, for starters, how about this? Right now, I’m hunched over a laptop trying to negotiate a keypad that clearly wasn’t designed for anything that resembles a paw. Do you really suppose this is my wish fulfillment? To answer anonymous questions? To appear on the front a publication named after a generic posterior? Seriously – I could be staring out the window right now, or harassing the cat downstairs, or licking myself, or sleeping in the sun. Instead, I’m plowing through your questions, trying to be a team player. Trying to do my part. You’re welcome.
TAILS: He’s also a huge supporter of the skilled trades, and consistently reminds us to not only follow our dreams but to pursue opportunities. What particular skill(s) do you possess that you’re especially proud of (remember Freddy, family audience)? Do you have a dream job?
FREDDY: I don’t dream of jobs. I dream of chasing things. And for me, chasing a thing is far more satisfying that catching a thing. Frankly, I wouldn’t know what to do if I actually caught the cat downstairs, But God help me, I love to chase that furry bag of bones and listen to it hiss when I get close. One of these days, there won’t be a tree for him to ascend, and then I guess we’ll have to sort some things out. But for now, I’m happy to remain in hot pursuit of anything that moves. I’m also skilled in creeping up on The Biped and standing right behind him. Often, he’ll step back and I’ll yelp in pain. I’m quite good a pretending to be in pain when I’m not. The resulting guilt usually gets me a treat, which I can’t believe still works.
TAILS: What was your deadliest catch in the last two hours?
FREDDY: Nothing comes to mind. Like I said, I don’t catch things – I chase things. I did however, eat something called a Motrin a few months ago, which is apparently some form of canine poison. Why the Biped would leave this Orange Capsule of Death on the bedside table caused me some initial consternation, but the subsequent excitement and lingering guilt of nearly killing me made the whole “ouch you stepped on my paw” routine pale by comparison. Good fun, in hindsight.
TAILS: What is one topic you have ALWAYS wished someone would ask you about? By all means, please feel free to elaborate.
I’m ready for a candid conversation about the disturbing trend of dogs wearing people clothes. I don’t like it. I’m also appalled by the “Poo Trap,” a harness-type device I’ve recently seen on the boxer across the street. Honestly, is there no end to the humiliations? I don’t care if it’s motivated by incontinence or inconvenience – man’s best friend should not be made walk around with a three-dimensional diaper dangling from his backside. And don’t even get me started on Neuticles…