Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Whoa Nelly

I may have the sweetest dog in the world.

Here Nelly arches her back to give my nephew Jack a loving kiss. One of the first words to come out of Jack's mouth was dog. And every time he comes to visit he makes a beeline for Nelly.

He will poke her in the eye, pull on her tail, step on her paw, none of it intentionally of course. And yet for all that innocent, playful abuse, Nelly will return Jack's attention by rolling on her back and inviting him to scratch her belly.

We don't know what we did to deserve such a kind-hearted rescue dog. Oh if that were the end of the story?

In a scenario that is reminiscent of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm, there is a problem with Nelly. She is a racist dog.

Last week two guys from the Geek Squad came to mount a TV on the wall of my office. (Turns out I could have done the job with a power drill and a good studfinder, but that's a different story). One of the installers was African American. Nelly had the hardest time letting him into our house. The hair on her back stood up. The barking level was intolerable. The reaction, quite visceral.

And this was not the first incident. As Larry David pointed out in his show, it can be quite embarrassing.

We may have an African American President. We may be, and hopefully are, entering a post racial era. Sadly, none of this news or progress has gotten to Nelly.

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