Sunday, October 17, 2021

Curse you, Sarah McLachlan




Tony Wakefield-Jones




Dear Tony: 

Here’s my dilemma. It’s all about that tear-jerk Sarah McLachlan commercial that runs endlessly on TV. You know the one: sad lonesome song, sorry little puppy eyes looking hopefully into the camera, Sarah McLachlan voice-over asking viewers to save homeless dogs.

My human always sniffles sadly when it’s on and gives me nice loving attention. So far so good, right? But here’s my concern. What if my human actually reacts to all this sadness by adopting another dog? There’s only room for ONE dog in this house and it’s ME.

Should I distract my human when the commercial is on? Or should I just accept the loving attention that comes with the commercial and keep my paws crossed? What do you think I should do? My human seems ready to fill my house with new dogs every time this commercial comes on!

McKenna, 9 

Chesapeake Bay Retriever 

Centreville, Virginia 

Dear McKenna: 

First, you must understand your human does not have the emotional control God gave a gnat so you must take charge of the situation. My Tall Daddy, the stoic New Englander, boo hoos like a little girl when that commercial comes on—he actually has to leave the room.

This is a tough one because I have been plagued by my humans’ S.A.D. condition (split-attention disorder) since the arrival of “The Chihua” in April. However, many years ago, I came to the daddies through a wonderful organization called Airedale Rescue in Maryland. Even The Chihua was adopted from the Naples Humane Society.

Though my first mommy is wonderful and remains an active part of my life, she recognized I needed to be in a home where I could get more attention and bravely called upon Airedale Rescue to assist her in helping me adopt my Tall Daddy and Short Daddy. This has worked out well because, as you have probably already surmised, my daddies act as though they just fell off the turnip truck so I pretty much do as I please now.

My Maryland

McKenna is in a quandary. SUBMITTED PHOTO

McKenna is in a quandary. SUBMITTED PHOTO

mommy is also originally from Chile so I grew up speaking Spanish— and my daddies don’t speak Spanish—which gives me even more ways to manipulate them. If there’s one good thing I can say about The Chihua it’s that he speaks Spanish too. 

Even my daddies were placed in a difficult situation once when, after years of trying to make it work, they finally accepted that their “little white cotton ball with legs,” Miniature America Eskimo Zoey, would be happier in a different environment. Zoey went on to live with Betty in Chevy Chase, Maryland and ended up being there for Betty after the loss of her husband of over 55 years. And now, 5 . years later, Betty still calls us to say “thank you.”

The most selfless thing I have ever done is stop rubbing my wet-from-drinking Airedale beard on the sofa after being yelled at—repeatedly. 

However, let’s get back to your issue. You must have a good human if he/she cares enough to consider adding to your canine family, but that may not help in your stress over your cushy one-dog situation. I really do feel your pain. Just remember, when it comes to dogs, there is one Alpha—“and the rest”—just like the Season One Gilligan’s Island theme song says.

I still feel sorry for The Professor and Mary Ann when I watch those reruns. 

Besides, in my house, there’s not an Alpha Dog, but an Alpha—period. Humans are extremely easy to train.

Unless I miss my guess, by the time this column is published, you may already have a new little brother or sister. Just teach him or her Spanish and have a ball. Just make sure he/she knows who’s the boss.


P.S. To adopt your own Airedale, please visit To support Sarah McLachlan’s very worthy charity, please go to

Tony Wakefield-Jones is a 10-year-old psychologically gifted Airedale. He can be found on Facebook wakefieldjones. A member of a family of creative minds, his Short Daddy, writer Randall Kenneth Jones, has humorously chronicled his own personal and professional foibles on 

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