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January 1, 0001

HumourList package #76 - Dog Jokes

Yes. I’m finally getting a dog. I found a breeder I think I can trust, and if all goes well, I’ll spend more money on a dog than I spent in gas for my sports car since 1998 started.

Nothing like a cute little Labrador Retriever puppy to chew everything in sight, right mom? Heheh. Should be interesting.

I figure having a dog is kinda like having kids. You have to feed them, make time for them, give them a bed to sleep on, take them places, have fun with them, and when they’re 18 years old, they move out…

Anyhow, this Package may turn out a little longer than normal.


Opening header is Copyright 1998 by Ian W. Douglas; all rights are reserved, and no portion should be copied in any way or modified in any way without permission of the author. The remainder of this Package is absolutely free for distribution provided all of the subscription instructions remain intact at the end


Posted on a bulletin board at a Virginia health club: “Free to good homes – six adorable puppies, all shots. Mother is a Champion A.K.C. Registered Golden Retriever. Father is also a dog.”


A MAGGIE DOG STORY By Tony Kornheiser, The Washington Post, Sunday, April 6, 1997

You remember my Brittany spaniel, Maggie? The one who ate the money? Well, $20 bills aren’t the only thing Maggie has eaten. She has eaten sponges and shoe boxes and unopened letters, and she’s dug used tissues out of the garbage and consumed them as though they were rare Alsatian bonbons. One of her favorite maneuvers is jumping onto the table while the family is eating – she has a vertical leap like Michael Jordan’s – and grabbing my napkin and taking it into the living room and shredding it. And when I follow her in there to pick up the pieces, she doubles back to the table and snatches my lamb chop and wolfs it down. She has dug craters in the back yard the size of missile silos. She’s routinely pooped in the house.

Maggie, the Katzenjammer Dog.

A few weeks ago, I decided to do something about it. I made her into a throw rug.

No, that would have been cruel to the dog. Instead, I was cruel to myself. Some rich, social-climbing interior decorators I know recommended a canine training facility, a rustic place deep in the woods costing $500 a week, apparently the Phillips Andover of dog boarding academies. (Upon graduation you go straight to the University of California at Barkley.)

I dropped Maggie off. One week passed, then two, then three. No word from the trainer.

I telephoned.

“It’s taking a little longer than I thought,” he said. “I found out she is a Brittany, and they are very difficult dogs to train.”

He found out she was a Brittany? What did he think she was, an aardvark? He is a professional dog trainer. This is like a master chef suddenly discovering that the potato he had baked and served with sour cream and chives was in fact a banana.

“Another week then?” I asked.

“Maybe,” he said. “I’m under a lot of stress,” he said.

How much stress can there be teaching a dog not to eat a sponge? It’s not like I handed him my dog and said, “Teach her to play the violin.”

I waited a week. Then another. Our home was quiet, tranquil, Maggie-free. My kids had nearly forgotten what she looked like. I considered leaving her at the trainer’s for good, and bringing home a gerbil, and telling the kids it was Maggie.

Six full weeks passed. In a sense the joke was on Maggie, because at this rate when she got back there’d be no money left to eat.

I called the trainer. “I assume she’s trained.”

There was a pause. “It’s not as much whether the dog is trained,” he said, “as whether the family is trained.”

“I’m coming to get her right now,” I said, and hung up.

The trainer led Maggie out of his house, and let her run free. And she ran gloriously. Maggie was fast and sleek and exuberant.

“How will she behave in the house?” I asked.

“Let me show you how good she is in the woods,” the trainer said.

And he led us into the woods, with Maggie off the leash. We walked up hills and through valleys. Maggie stayed near, never letting us out of sight – often coming to us, never bolting from us. She actually seemed trained.

“How will she do in the house?” I asked the trainer.

“Let me show you how she does in the road,” he said.

The trainer put Maggie on a leash and walked her to the middle of the road that ran by his house, then yanked hard on the leash – flipping Maggie into the air by her neck, like a trout being pulled from a stream. I gasped.

“She won’t want to go in the road now,” the trainer said.

Of course not, she’ll be too busy calling a personal injury lawyer.

Maggie remained on the side of the road, even as we leisurely crossed back and forth.

“How will she do inside the house?” I asked.

“Let me show you how she is in the open field,” the trainer said.

And as I watched Maggie perform obediently in the field, I realized that she’d been trained fabulously; she was a great outdoor dog. Which would be fantastic for me – if I were a fur trapper.

“What about in the house?” I asked.

“In the house she stays in a crate,” the trainer said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“The object of the training is to make all her rewards come outside,” he said. “The reason she’s good in the crate is so that you’ll reward her by taking her outside.”

“She’s a house dog. I want her walking around the house, sleeping on the bed with me. I don’t want her in a crate. She’s not a bowling ball.”

“If you don’t keep her in a crate, you’ll undo all the training,” he said.

I piled the kids and dog in the car, and left.

We pulled up to the house. As I opened the door, I tried positive reinforcement. I said, “Maggie, you are a well-trained dog now. You will not revert to your old habits. I have complete confidence in you.”

She bounded straight for the kitchen, hopped up on the counter top and stuck her head in the goldfish bowl.

“No, Maggie!”

This was the magic command. The trainer had assured me that was all I had to say, and Maggie would instantly shrink, chastened, from what she was doing.


She stopped. She looked at me. Then she stuck her paw in the bowl, and began to swipe at the goldfish like a bear with a salmon.

That night Maggie ate a napkin. The next night, a sponge. The next night she dashed out the front door and ran into the road. This week she leapt out of the car through a rolled-down window and went bounding through back yards until she fell into a neighbor’s swimming pool, and had to be fished out, like an old boot.

I am tempted to say that Maggie learned nothing from the dog training academy, but that would be wrong. Maggie learned one dog skill she’d never had before. Now, without requiring any command from me, entirely on her own initiative, she drinks out of the toilet.

Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

Tony Kornheiser (Unofficial) Home Page


In a two-day period in New York City recently, a homeless man, a train maintenance worker, and a dog were killed on the subway tracks. Ninety people telephoned the Transit Authority to express concern about the dog, but only three called about the worker and no one about the homeless man.


Dr. Cutter is the local Veterinarian, known for his wry humor. He surpassed himself one summer day when a city dog was brought to him after an encounter with a porcupine.

After almost an hour of prying, pulling, cutting and stitching, he returned the dog to its owner, who asked what she owed.

“Fifteen dollars, Ma’am,” he answered.

“Why that’s simply outrageous!” she stormed. “That’s what’s wrong with you Maine people, you’re always trying to over charge summer visitors. Whatever do you do in the winter, when we’re not being gypped here?”

“Raise porcupines, Ma’am.”


Perro, Texas (DE) – In a stunning and unprecedented case, a dog has filed a lawsuit against its owner. With the lawsuit, the dog is hoping to ‘divorce’ its owner and receive compensation for pain and suffering.

“Ruff, ruff. Bark, bark,” the dog told us in an exclusive interview. While we were not able to understand what the dog was trying to say, its lawyer was more than happy to translate. “Fido (the dog) just wants the care and respect it deserves and I don’t think two million is too much to ask,” said lawyer Sam Swindi.

The dog’s owner who wishes to remain anonymous is outraged at this lawsuit. “I can’t believe this happened and especially that the judge is allowing this to happen. At first I thought it was a joke, but now it is not so funny,” stated the owner.

The dog is no longer in the possession of its owner, but is in the possession of a state agency worker assigned to the case. The lawsuit claims that Fido was inhumanely treated by not receiving meals exactly on time, never getting a doggie treat, having to go to bathroom outside and in the cold. It also claims that it was subjected to torture on numerous occasions when the owner attempted to bathe the dog and when taking it to the veterinarian.

The lawyer says his client deserves at least two million and a ‘divorce’ from the owner. “Of course Fido cannot handle any settlement, so I will be in charge of any money from a settlement,” said Swindi.

Copyright 1998 Duncan Exposé. All rights reserved.


If you can start the day without caffeine, If you can get going without pep pills, If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it, If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time, If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when no fault of yours, something goes wrong, If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him, If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend, If you can face the world without lies and deceit, If you can conquer tension without medical help, If you can relax without liquor, If you can sleep without the aid of drugs, If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics,

Then, my friend you are almost as good as your dog.


Dear Bill Clinton,

As a dog owner myself, let me welcome you to the wonderful world of carrying a bag in your pocket every time you take a walk – though recent fund-raising disclosures indicate the vice president can teach you about that.

And let me be the first to congratulate you on an incredibly original choice of names.

“Rahm Emmanuel.”

Oh, wait. It’s “Buddy.”

Hmmm. I guess “Spot” was taken.

My friend Gino told me about an acquaintance who went to the pound to get a dog for his family and picked out No. 179. That’s what he wanted to name it: “Dog 179.” But his wife objected, so they agreed on something wildly creative, probably “Buddy.”

Actually, “Buddy” was an astute choice for a politician. So often when politicians forget a name they end up greeting someone by saying, “How ya doin’, Buddy?” No aide will ever have to whisper a name into your ear when you greet your dog.

(I find it interesting you named your daughter after a song, “Chelsea Morning,” and named your dog after a relative, in this case your uncle. That’s exactly how I did it with my son, “Tubthumping Kornheiser,” and my dog, “Grandma Tillie.”)

I figure getting a dog probably had something to do with having an empty nest now that Chelsea is away at college. But I trust that a cat and a dog are enough – since you’re only a monkey and a llama away from becoming Michael Jackson.

I have written extensively about my dog (actual unimaginative name: Maggie) and her eclectic eating habits. Once she ate $140. So my advice to you would be to not keep loose cash around. Remember: Holding the cash is Al Gore’s department.

If your dog is anything like mine, he’ll go through the house shredding napkins, tissues and paper of all kinds – and now that I think about it, that might actually come in handy for you and Hillary.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Starr, but my dog ate the document in question.”

And here’s another upside: Because your dog can’t speak, he can’t testify against you.

Discipline is a real predicament, especially housebreaking. Given the zeal they exhibit on their walks, dogs appear to enjoy the smell of their own and other dogs’, um, stuff. So no use rubbing their noses in it. What works for Newt Gingrich will not work for Buddy.

A few months ago, Maggie ate a hole the size of a coconut in my Burberry raincoat. I’d left some used tissues in the pocket: a perfect appetizer. This is a raincoat I bought in England in 1985 for $200 after the salesman assured me that I would have it “for life.” And he was right. I would have had it for life. I should have had it for life. If not for this oversized rodent of a dog.

The same raincoat now costs $725! I wanted to kill my dog – microwaving was too quick. I wanted to saute her to death. But instead I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and began screaming, “You ate my Burberry! You ate my Burberry!” And, of course, I rubbed her nose in it.

For all my dog knew, I could have been singing “Louie, Louie.” But her dog brain got the message: “Smell that savory Burberry! Have another bite!”

Oh, Bill, please don’t wrap one of those red bandannas around your dog’s neck. I’m sick of seeing Labs and goldens with red bandannas lying outside Starbucks, waiting for their owners to come out sipping their double-decaf lattes. They look like a mural of Willie Nelsons.

Also, now that you have Buddy, he is going to get “pet cards.” I’m sure you’ve seen those – another way for people to waste money on their pets as opposed to donating to worthy causes, such as retiring the DNC debt. People agonize over the correct birthday card to get for some swaybacked, half-blind Dalmatian: “Oh, this one isn’t at all right for Brandy.”

Now my dog can send your dog a card. (Of course I’d have to select the card and tell Maggie, “Look what I picked out for Buddy from you.” And my dog would probably look at me quizzically, pass gas and say something pithy like, “Woof.”)

You know the deal about where dogs sleep, right? They hop right into bed with you. Dogs attach themselves to powerful people – sort of like Dick Morris. You’re the president, the No. 1 alpha male. Buddy will recognize that. He’ll sleep where you sleep. The moment you get up, he’ll get up. He’ll always have one eye out for you. One eye. Wow, you should have called him “Sammy.”

And last, perhaps you should consider getting another dog. My friend Bob has a theory about the “donkey dog,” which derives from the practice of placing a donkey in the stable with a racehorse for companionship. The stallion feels no need to compete with – or mate with – the donkey. Buddy needs a pint-size pal, maybe one of those pathetic longhaired dogs that look like a bedroom slipper. You could name the donkey dog something original, like “Bill Lann Lee.”

I’m sure you understand this, because you’ve got your own donkey dog, Al Gore.

Fondly, Tony

Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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