A collection of words that have affected me in some manner.
I believe you'll enjoy them too.


We have identified a new disease, probably caused by a virus among dog owning people. It apparently has been in existence for a considerable time, but only recently has anyone identified this disease, and begun to study it. We call it the Acquired Canine Obsessive Syndrome (ACOS). At first, ACOS was originally considered to be psychological in nature, but after two young researchers here suddenly decided to become show breeders, we realized that we were dealing with an infectious agent.

Epidemiologists here have identified three stages of this disease and typical symptoms, and they are:

A. You have the early symptoms (Stage I) if:

  • 1. You think that any show within 300 miles is nearby.

  • 2. You begin to enjoy getting up at 5 a.m. in the morning to walk and feed dogs.

  • 3. It is fun to spend several hours a day grooming dogs.

  • 4. You think you're being frugal if you spend less than £5,000 a year on shows.

  • 5. You can't remember what it was like to have just one dog. 

B. You definitely have the disease (Stage II) if:

  • 1. Your most important factor when buying a car is how many crates you can fit in it.

  • 2. When you look for a house, the first thing you think of is how many dogs you can kennel on the property.

  • 3. Your dog food bill is higher than your family's.

  • 4. You spend as much on vets fees as on prescriptions.

  • 5. You have no money because of showing dogs.

  • 6. You have to buy more than one vehicle a year, because you keep burning out the year or 70,000-mile warranty going to shows.

  • 7. You have more pictures of the dogs than of your family.

  • 8. Your idea of a fun vacation is to hit a show circuit.

  • 9. Most of your conversations revolve around the dogs. 

C. You are a terminal case (Stage III) if:

  • 1. You wake up in the morning and find out that you put the kids in the crates and the dogs in the beds last night.

  • 2. You know each dog's name and pedigree, but can't figure out who that stranger in the house is; it turns out to be your husband/wife.

  • 3. Your neighbours keep insisting that those kids running around your house bothering the dogs are yours.

  • 4. You keep telling the kids to "heel" and can't understand why they won't, and why they keep objecting to the choke collar.

  • 5. You cash in the kid's college trust fund to campaign the dogs.

  • 6. You've been on the road showing dogs so long that you can't remember where you live.

  • 7. Your family tells you "It's either the dogs or us"; you choose the dogs.

Do you have this dreaded disease? Well, there is hope. In the course of our research, we have found that most cases seem to stop at Stage II, and remain chronic. We, with great difficulty, managed to acquire several Stage III ACOS patients. They are currently in our isolation wards, where we are studying them to gain a better understanding of this disease. It is a sad sight, seeing these formerly vibrant people as they shuffle around their rooms in endless triangle or L-patterns, making odd hand motions (as if holding a lead and baiting a dog), and making chirping noises. Merely saying the word "Crufts" can send them into an uncontrollable frenzy. Unfortunately, there isn't much hope for these cases, but with time and research to further understand this disease, we hope to come up with a cure. We are now attempting to isolate the causative agent, and may be able to develop a vaccine in the future. An interesting sidelight of this disease seems to be that exposure at an early age has an immunizing effect. Several people afflicted with ACOS at Stage II and Stage III have close family members (children, husbands, wives who have absolutely no disease.) It is thought by some of our researchers that this may be due to environmental effects, to an aggregated immune function, or to the fact that those at these stages of the disease tend not to associate with their close family members possibly due to the memory deficit induced by the disease - that is, in that they don't remember that they have close family members!

What can you do to prevent this disease? Until a cure is found, prevention is the measure. Avoid kennels advertising "show stock," since it may be that dogs are carriers of the disease. Leave town on those days that the local newspapers inform you of a show in the area. 

If you inadvertently come into contact with an ACOS-afflicted person, leave as soon as possible (they do tend to cling), and thoroughly shower, preferably with germicidal soap. If you are living with an ACOS-afflicted person, take comfort that, if you haven't succumbed yet, you are probably safe.... Its very infectious!

Unknown Author


If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this - the last battle - can't be won.

But don't be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand.

For on this day, more than the rest
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so,
So when the time comes, please let me go.

Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only stay with me till the end,
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

It is a kindness that you do to me.

Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close-we two-these years,
So don't let your heart hold any tears,



"I'll lend you for a little time, a dog of mine", God said. 
"For you to love while she lives and mourn when she is dead. 
The years they may be six or ten or even as few as three. 
But will you, 'til I call her back, take care of her for me?

She'll bring her charms to gladden you, and shall her stay be brief, 
You'll have her lovely memories as solace for your grief. 
I cannot promise she will stay, since all from Earth return, 
But there are lessons taught down there I want this dog to learn.

I've looked the wide world over, in my search for masters true, 
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you. 
Now will you give her your love, nor think the labor vain, 
Nor hate me when I come to call to take her back again?"

We answered in sincerity "Dear Lord, Thy will be done. 
For all the joy this dog shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run. 
We'll shelter her with tenderness, and love her while we may, 
And for the happiness we will know, we'll ever grateful stay. 
But shall the angels call for her much sooner than we planned, 
We'll know the bitter grief that comes and try to understand."

Author Unknown

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