Funny, Isn’t It?

By: Jeanne Charles


Today, dear reader, I will address two of the great questions deviling humankind during this second decade of the millennium. My fond hope is for a Pulitzer!

Question No. 1: Is dog woman’s best friend?

Question No. 2: Does a bear sh-t in the woods? (Please excuse the vulgarity, but I tried saying, “Does a bear make doo doo in the woods?” and it just didn’t work.

As to the dog question: Initially, I would have answered in the affirmative. Sparky, aka my dog, is now a 17-month-old, muscular 65-pound force of affection who follows me from room to room, lavishly sloshing me with kisses whenever I sit down. He’ll lick any available skin he can get, His favorite site target is my legs just after I’ve shaved and covered them with lotion.
Sparky invades my every privacy. Not since I had toddlers have I had to suffer the indignity of someone’s presence during the times I attend to commode matters. That all changed when Sparky came into our lives at the age of five months. He can’t bear to let me out of his sight for a minute, and five minutes in the powder room sets him hurling his considerable bulk against the door. As you can imagine, that tends to interrupt what I’m trying to accomplish behind said door.
Sorry for the somewhat scatological reference; this is important. It is The Pulitzer after all!
Sparky also feels the need to protect me with insane barking whenever anyone attempts to come into our home. I put up with all his intimacy and protector requirements because I really did love him. Note the “did.”
Then, October hit. Surely, the most beautiful autumn in memory. The leaves were glorious and crunchy as we took our four walks every day, and the sky was so blue it often took my breath away. I was spellbound by the magnificence surrounding me. But with the leaves and the sky came… SQUIRRELS!
As I mentioned, my dog now weighs 65 pounds. At that weight, he’s nearly half of mine. Further, he’s still technically a puppy. At least, he acts like a puppy. I will not reveal my age to you here but, trust me, I’m w-a-a-a-y past my puppy days.
Here’s the problem: When Sparky sees a squirrel, or even senses one within his neighborhood, he bolts on his leash, putting all his 65 pounds behind the lunge and goes for it. Even though I’m holding on with both hands, I often find myself airborne during these idyllic fall walks we take together.
I had one behaviorist tell me I should have the metal pinch collar on him. I’ll spare you my response to her. She’s just lucky I didn’t put it around her neck and pull—hard.
I’m lifting weights every morning now, trying to build up muscles in my shoulders and arms. My husband wants to return him to Brother Wolf but see, the problem is: I love Sparky now. Well, at least I like him. I loved him before the squirrels showed up.

On to Question No. 2: Do bears sh-t in the woods?

You bet they do. How do I know this? Because once, in the single area where I can let Sparky run free on our morning walk, he darted into the woods after a squirrel and didn’t return for several minutes. I grew worried and started calling for him.
When he finally emerged, tail high and wagging, he was covered from nose to tail tip with excretion. Although neighbors say bears don’t really do stinky poop—they call it something like scat—I can’t imagine what other animal could possibly have excreted so much brown, smelly stuff. There’s not a dog on earth capable of such a feat, and I’ve never seen a horse in our woods. Dinosaurs are extinct, right?
Of course, Sparky had rolled in it.
Not only did it coat all his long, thick hair, but he had managed to get it embedded in all the metal links of his collar. Of course, being thrilled with his new patina, he wanted to share it with me, his favorite person. He ran at me in a way that clearly meant, “I love you. I want to rub myself all over you to show you how much.”
Dancing gingerly around him, I managed to get the hook back onto his leash, ran him home, and threw him in the tub, metal collar and all. His big, brown eyes looked so sad as I washed all his treasured new body rub off him.
So, the answer to my second question is an unequivocal “yes.” Bears (or something as big) most assuredly do sh-t in the woods.
As to the first question? Are dogs really woman’s best friend? Funny, isn’t it, but I’m not in the mood to answer that one right now. Check with me next spring.
P.S. Happy birthday, dear Jesus. Since you are the master of miracles, please see if you can get Congress to cooperate with President Obama on the Jobs Bill. Thank you. Amen.

Jeanne Charters is a writer, wife, mother, grandmother and happy faux Southern lady since moving to Western North Carolina ten years ago from New York. Her book funny, isn’t it? is a collection of her favorite columns and makes a great gift of laughter for you or a friend. The book is available at Malapropos, Mountain Made Book Store in the Grove Arcade, or at Jeanne recently completed her second novel, has acquired a literary agent, and resides in Asheville with her husband, Matt Restivo. Contact her at


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