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On Punishing Our Pup
The axle of our family is our puppy. The entire family program
rotates around the wants and desires of one small egotistical piece of puppy-
hood. No, we are not all lunatics as some of our neighbors would designate
us-we are simply dog-lovers.
The cause of all this daily excitement is a small fox-terrier by the name
of Sparkplug. He is about a foot and a half long, black with white stomach
and feet and he has a most knowing way of cocking his head on one side,
raising one ear and the opposite foot and emitting a staccatto bark of defiance
at any stranger.
For months, the youngest member of our household had begged her
father vainly for a dog, but there seemed to be little chance of her getting
her desire. Mother objected because of the extra care and I objected merely
on general principles. On Christmas eve, when Daddy came in, we made
the usual concentrated rush toward him for the papers. As we reached
for them, he parted his coat lapels and a little dog-face peered out. A mad
scramble ensued and Sparkplug was duly installed as a member of our house-
hold, supposedly the present of the entire family, which point was to be
much disputed in the days to come.
The favorite occupation of this diminutive piece of humanity is the
mastication of the wraps on the hall settee, especially fur. As a result many
long agonizing moments are spent in compound punishment which hurts
the entire family, I think, worse than the victim. He is claimed vigorously
by every member of the family at a time like this, except the one whose fur
has receivd the injury.
As I sat at the dinner-table a few nights ago, I was surprised to see
my grey fur choker vanish around the corner of the davenport in the living-
room. Not willing to believe that the miraculous time of Arabian Nights
and Sinbad had come back, I felt almost positive that it had been propelled
by some lmman force. Knowing that all the members of the family but
one were safely seated at the table, it seemed logical that this member was
the guilty person. I stole softly in and saw the fur piece and Sparky lying
side by side under the davenport. I pounced on him and began to admin-
ister a well-deserved beating. At the first well-feigned howl, in rushed
my sister and violently took up his side. Father and Mother followed in
swift succession and I was rapidly ejected from the fray.
To hear the continued howls of Sparky an onlooker would be led to
believe that he was standing on the brink of the famous river Styx and was
being annihilated by the six heads of the canine guardian there. The rest
of the evening I was treated as an outcast. My family had formed a unani-
mous society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals against me simply be-
cause I had punished the dog. Since "a house divided against itself cannot
stand," I fear greatly for the safety of our domicilic edifice after every
misdemeanor of the dog.
MARTHA HOLT, '24,