Column: Evolution theory needs evaluated ... again

Glory Halleluiah. I've been inspired again! This time, from a thought of ... evolution?

I have four dogs - five if you count my other half. I've been conditioned in my life to stay as far away from politics as possible. But I can't help but get absorbed into another kind of politics in another realm. I call this realm ... dog-i-tics.

"Babe," our great dane, is the Alpha in our canine family. She calls the shots. No one messes with her. She tells the others when they can eat. There's a pecking order. Next in line is "Tuffy," a female witchy-type Healer mix that hangs with Babe, especially at feeding time. But Tuffy acts weird occasionally and humps Babe's leg. Babe snaps at Tuffy when she doesn't want to be bothered, but sometimes ignores Tuffy and allows this antic to continue. I don't need a camera to know there's something wrong with this picture. It's obvious there is no consistency in Babe's leadership of the pack.

Third in this pecking order is "Layla," our poster-mother boxer. She is considered the Omega ... the end ... the last one of the pack that gets to eat, if at all. Tuffy treats Layla badly. When I'm not looking, she fights with Layla. But as soon as I catch the two ganging up on Layla, I go to the boxer's rescue. Then Tuffy has the audacity to start licking me affectionately, kissing up and acting like, you know, nothing ever happened. Layla will take a beating and keep on licking her wounds. But if I step in to save her during a tiff with Tuffy, she develops a superiority complex, which just ticks the clique off even more.

Then she hangs under and over our feet and won't let our feet go anywhere without her being in the way. She loves it when we fall over her. We tend to let her stay by one of our sides for protection from the others, no matter what, or we may end up with some hefty vet bills to repair the back-clawing that Tuffy would do if she got the chance. I guess dogs have egos too, no matter how unconditional their love is for their masters.

Finally, there's "Jake the Wonder Dog," because it's a wonder he's still alive. Jake is not actually part of the pecking order. I picked Jake from among four other pups being given away. He's a chow mix, and he has a cocky personality, but not with the male master of our homestead. He asks "why," "talks back," and is "picky" about his treats. But most importantly, he's being trained to be our next watchdog. When I introduced Jake to the girls, boy did I get a lesson in dog-i-tics.

Babe looked at Jake and then looked at me as if to say, "hhmmp ... so this is my future replacement? You want ME to train HIM to be the watchdog? Why didn't you bring home a chihuahua? That would've been the same as this oversized red-headed pack rat!" Poor Baby Jake didn't stand a chance at becoming our future watchdog in Babe's eyes. He had just become her victim of discrimination. Then, Babe passed her idea along to Tuffy through their canine E.S.P. and their alliance against Jake was formed. But Layla, desperately wanting to get back at the others, took Baby Jake under her paw, and with that canine E.S.P. stuff, nudged his ear with her nose. Jake then nonchalantly walked away from Layla toward the watering bowl and casually stepped up and into the bowl. He turned around, looked at the other two, and quietly sat down.

It was hard for me to keep a straight face. Where's my camera? Babe and Tuffy didn't move. Neither did I. We all just stood there looking in disbelief while cute little puppy breath Baby Jake continued to sit in the water bowl. Then Layla broke the silence. With her bobbed tail twitching, her fat rolls wiggling just-a-little-bit, she strutted her stuff right between the "ladies" and the watering bowl where Jake still continued to sit in the hot desert heat - but with a cool butt. Just as Layla passed Jake, he looked up with wonderment at me, as if to say, "Did I do good?" Then he got out of the bowl and walked over to a bush and started to squat. Layla got his attention and steered him away a bit to a different bush wherein she hiked her leg up to do you know what. Then Jake followed her lead.

"WHERE'S MY CAMERA!" I screamed. "HONEY, COME HERE QUICK! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!"

Sighing, he asked, "What's wrong now?"

"Layla, A girl dog, just taught our boy dog how to pee like a boy dog!"

"Yeah ... I know honey ... " he replied softly as walked away.

"That's it? That's all you have to say?" I screeched.

No answer came as he walked back to complete the tasks on his honey-do list - which leads me back to that first thought I was contemplating. We must NOT have come from monkeys after all.