Home Around Town Blue Star
Blue Star

Blue Star


By Scott Sullivan



I inherited my white hair from my kid — i.e. naturally. Comes from stress. I did the same for my parents, who did their duty as I do now: feared they’d failed their children by inspiring similar fear in us we’d fail them. Talk about self-fulfilling. If we pass nothing more through generations, guilt will be enough.

Who knew we did this to dogs as well? New research finds pups’ and owners’ stress levels rise and fall together. Worse, humans are to blame.

I’ve been stressed lately dreading surgery caused by falling on a dowel our puppy chewed and left on our stairway. This research shows he’ll reflect that.

How is stress measured? By studying levels of hormone cortisol in hair.

Surprisingly, dogs described by their owners as anxious showed the same levels as ones their humans called easygoing. Cortisol in their owners’ hair was a better predictor of canine stress levels.

That suggests, “it is dogs that mirror the stress levels of their owners rather than the owners responding to the stress in their dogs,” wrote researchers. That or owners have no clue what the temperament of their pets is.

Pilot didn’t seem bothered he’d caused me four months of shoulder pain. But now I am freaking out about surgery, he seems rattled. This makes me feel even worse.

After drinking myself to sleep over this, I woke up and decided a “hair of the dog” was needed. It was not what the doctor had ordered — in fact the opposite — but it kept, or at least incapacitated, me from committing mutt-iny.

“Mutt-iny?” my wife asked.

“Skinning Pilot alive and using his hair to line surgical socks,” I explained.

“Do and I’ll call PETA.”

“No! No!” I cried. “Better I read the Collected Wisdom of Donald Trump’s tweets!”

“What’s to collect?” she asked.

Thank God for PETA. Lest humans think we are better than dumb animals, they do and say things that prove we — well, they at least — are not.

“Did you know PETA euthanizes almost every dog and cat it takes in?” I asked my wife. “Per its president Ingrid Newkirk, ‘I would go in to work (the group’s ‘shelter‘) early, before anyone got there, and would just kill the animals myself … I must have killed a thousand of them, sometimes dozens every day.

“‘The animals … got the gift of euthanasia, and to them it was the best gift they’ve ever had. How dare you pretend to help animals and turn your back on those who want an exit from an uncaring world!’”

“Has anyone measured the cortisol in her hair?” my wife asked.

“When she sends her minions to rescue Pilot,” I said, “maybe some will be naked women demonstrating why it is wrong to objectify any living body.”

“Other than their own,” my wife said and called them.

As PETA researchers-in-the-raw measured Pilot’s cortisol, I assessed their, ahem, scientific technique. My wife customized her rolling pin with my skull impression, causing my stress to vanish and freeing Pilot to be oblivious again.

“Euthanize him,” my wife told these saviors.

“The dog or the dolt?”

“The dolt.”

“No!” they cried, passing smelling salts under my nose. “He’s a man. Let him live and suffer.”

Thank God for consciousness. Now I’m condemned to eternal life, I stress even more about what I’ll pass to my daughter. Since I won’t pass, she’ll be stuck with my fading body and mounting regret about cruelty I showed pets before PETA snuffed them.

Ingrid has no such problems. “I’m not only uninterested in having children,” she said, “I’m opposed to it. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but human vanity.”

Thanks for that, Ingrid. We won’t see her like again. I surmise bestiality — breeding with other species — is the best way to perpetuate humanity.

I’m not sure how that’s done genetically. A centaur was half-man, half-horse; a minotaur half-man, half-bull; but that was mythologically. The whole thing is bull to me.