My Dog's Newsgroup

or: P-MAIL

From: (Rev. Ivan Stang)


My dog and the other dogs of this neighborhood have their own newsgroup
and email. They use a different method of signifying, but it's essentially
the same thing that we bipeds do.

This occured to me while I was walking Beast, the oldest and largest of my
guard dogs. We're roughly the same age in dog and SubGenius years,
respectively, and we both need exercise as often as we can get it, so I
take him out on a leash for hour-long walks around our new neighborhood.
We live in a small development of new houses built on landfill just around
the creek-bend from the Dallas lake nearest downtown, White Rock Lake.
This lake (most of which is only 6 inches deep due to sludge, but you
don't know that from shore) is ringed with biking trails and there's even
a small wilderness area called Devil's Ditch. The bordering neighborhoods
are mostly old, fancy, interesting houses, and there's far less liklihood
of muggings and drive-buys than in my old neighborhood, so taking these
walks is a major form of Slack for Beast and me.

I'm just walking and daydreaming and idly eyeballing the female joggers.
But Beast is reading his newsgroup and posting messages.

His access server, the neighborhood beyond the walls of our house, is not
nearly so automated as the Internet, so messages are not all left in the
same place. He has to physically travel from tree to tree or fire hydrant
or fence, sniffing out the "threads" started by other dogs, or by himself.
I can't read 'em because my nose is "blind" compared to his, just as he
has only his mouth for hands, and finds himself in a serious quandry when,
for instance, he gets a bad dingleberry. But he can sure find those
"posts"... the gopher of his nose leads him straight to them, pulling me
behind, and he doesn't just skim over 'em... he really READS 'EM CLOSE. He
sticks his nose down into the grass or gravel and snorts and snuffles
around for up to 30 seconds, and I can tell that sometimes they make him
pretty agitated; he adopts a sort of a "Who does this mutt think he is?'
expression. Then he lifts his leg and posts his reply for the next dog to
come along and read, and get infuriated over. It struck me that it's
identical territorial behavior to that of SubGenii and humans on the net.

He can't actually see these other dogs. He can tell by the styles of some
messages that he has read stuff from certain authors before. Others are
probably complete strangers. At least, this is true out in the main doggie
newsgroup of the well-traveled lake area; it's common turf, not belonging
to any one dog or Master. No dogs LIVE at the lake. The borders of this
housing developement, on the other hand, are more akin to his email,
because he has specifically marked out "his" turf here, and the messages
are mostly from dogs he "knows". (Even if he doesn't see them, he hears
and smells them all the time.) While we only hit the lake once a week or
so, we make the rounds of the development almost every day -- about a mile
circumference, total, if you include the spaces BEHIND the houses, up on
the "back road" and down by the creek. He makes a point of always leaving
his posts in the same general places, unless he finds that some other dog
has been leaving HIS messages in some other place, in which case Beast has
to read them frantically and then obliterate them with a fresh shower of
pee. I have noticed that he leaves much longer messages at the beginning
of these sessions; towards the end, he's gone dry and just lifts his leg
for a token dribble. Much like my Usenet sessions. In some of the places
he checks, he was the last poster, so he leaves those alone.

On the rare occasions that he runs into another dog in the flesh --
usually behind a fence -- they either start flaming each other loudly or
else mutual tail-wagging indicates they aren't competitors, and then he's
very friendly and up for some friendly mutual butt-sniffing. Just like we
net-dwellers; when you finally meet that person you've read so many times,
you tend to either like 'em instantly or hate 'em and feel like an idiot
for ever thinking they might be "okay."

I haven't yet figured out what in our world it corresponds to when he
takes a shit. For one thing, he doesn't seem to have much control over
that, once he gets outside. He NEVER craps in the house, but after he's
been trotting around outdoors with me for a few minutes, his old bowels
get sloshed around to a certain point and, loosened, he suddenly feels the
need -- usually when we're on somebody else's manicured lawn, and I have
to drag him frozen in his squat position to the nearest vacant lot. When
he encounters the drying turds of rival dogs, he barely pays them any
notice. So I don't think the turds contain messages... only the PeE. I
guess his turds are just like our turds. They're JUST TURDS, lacking any
other significance. They're like "sigs" with no message. Judging by his
intense scrutiny of the pee, I'd assume that it bears all manner of
descriptive passages, factual information, poetic flights of fancy, etc.

It's all just signifying... that's what we do, dog, man or SubGenius -- we
signify. Some signify way more than others. Beast is smart, in his dopey
doggie dumbness. He doesn't just pee on inanimate objects. If he can get
close to a car, he pees on the tires. That way his signature is later
carried far and wide, to other parts of town, there to baffle strange dogs
he'll never meet. But he can snooze in satisfaction, knowing that some
stuck-up neurotic poodle somewhere in North Dallas is all upset because
MeeMaw came home and parked in the garage with her whitewalls bearing a

Subject: Re: My Dog's Newsgroup
From: am904@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Ewan Cameron)

> particularly well-trained one... he's kind of a loose cannon. If I didn't
> keep him on a leash, he would probably run straight to your place and RIP
> OUT THE THROAT OF YOUR LITTLE "BIKO," along with every mailman and rival
> male
dog he encountered along the way. Did you see that movie, THE MASK?

little Biko is a ferocious german shepherd mixed with timber wolf and
husky and he doesn't stay around my place too often. He's out rampaging
through the city right now somewhere puttin the fear -o- Dobbs into unwary
sidewalk hot dog vendors. But by all means let him off the leash.

> turns into PEE DOG. That's the way Beast is.

He sounds lovely
> My dog eats other mammals for breakfast
who doesn't ?

, and he's well paid for it in that
> his idea of Slack is SLAKED BLOODLUST.

let him go then ! There's nothing like the sound of tearing flesh to brighten
the day.
Cheers, I must run off and grab a small mammal. I'm a bit peckish.

Subject: Re: My Dog's Newsgroup (Klaatu Barada Nikto) wrote:

> What the dogs have now sounds like the original, pre-pink YETI internet,
>which I believe also utilized PeE as a form of interaction. Could this
>modern phenomenon be a "vestige" left over from days of yore? Possibly even
>a branch of the origin of Excremeditation..?


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