Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Motor skills




Tony Wakefield-Jones





Dear Tony:

My family is crazy about this “sport” called NASCAR and a driver named Carl Edwards. As a dog, I understand liking to chase cars, but I am unsure what they get out of it? They don’t even get out of their chairs. There is a lot of screaming involved.

Truman Schnoodle – Columbia, MO

Dear Truman:

As dogs, we can spend our lives evaluating human behavior and never fully understand all their idiosyncrasies. However, it’s important that we try as, like it or not, we are forced to live with them.

Of course, that’s why I have chosen my new vocation as an advice guru. Just look at the successful careers of others in my profession: Oprah, Dr. Phil, and, my personal favorite, Jerry Springer. Besides, don’t a lot of NASCAR fans ultimately appear as guests on Springer’s show?

In my house, the results of any number of Dancing with the Stars episodes will induce similar human screaming fits. At least your humans worship a “sport” (and yes, I use that term loosely as well) where there’s a palpable sense of danger. I mean, is there anything really life threatening about DWTS other than the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction, an over-rotated pirouette, or head judge Len Goodman finally smacking Italian motor mouth Bruno Tonioli upside the head? At a minimum, your family has the chance of viewing action that could make Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s antics seem lame by comparison.

Having done my research, I couldn’t help but to notice that your peeps hail from the same home town as NASCAR’s Carl Edwards, the aforementioned favorite. As you did not mention any sort of family connection to Edwards, one can easily surmise your humans likely think Edwards somehow belongs to them personally.

But Truman, watch this situation very carefully. If left unmonitored, your humans may start to feel an unhealthy personal connection to Edwards that could include recurring attendance at his public appearances, autograph hoarding, clandestine drive-bys at his place of residence, and/or—in extreme cases—unexpected pit crew participation. Normally, I celebrate those who demonstrate a dogged determination but this is simply wrong. Should any of the above situations occur, please contact Edwards’s management team and/or Jerry Springer immediately. Both will undoubtedly

Truman Brown

Truman Brown

be happy to hear from you.

Of course, I completely understand the downside of our celebrity-obsessed culture—my Short Daddy sang with Sheryl Crow in college and, whether asked or not, he will gladly offer his opinion on everything from her wardrobe selection to her career trajectory.

However, what is likely most frustrating to you is the “sitting” issue. We dogs prefer to get involved. We see a car whizzing by and our natural instincts are car chasing as opposed to the human desire for star chasing. For reasons I will never understand, bi-peds often seem happiest when their motor skills are focused on moving their mouths and not their legs.

Now, if you want to see some real competitive action, check out Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s what I call a howling good time!



Dear Tony:

Why do dogs like to hang their heads out of the windows of moving cars?

Jeff C. – Port Charlotte, FL

Dear Jeff:

It would be easy to glibly answer, “because we can” and be done with it. Though there are many things dogs do “because we can,” let’s focus on your question for now.

As a rule, you humans are a fairly sedentary bunch. Even my Short Daddy has been quoted as saying he wouldn’t run unless he were being chased by a crazy man with a chainsaw—and then he claims he’d wait to see if he could talk the man out of doing bodily harm before making tracks.

So just look at it this way: cars are fun. They move at speeds most dogs are convinced they can meet or exceed. Like us canines, cars are fueled by humans, housed in intimate compartments, and taken out when humans want to be entertained. Plus, a human can prompt a dog or a car to “speak” and both dog and car have been known to play dead whether commanded to do so or not.

So let’s just keep this simple for you: have you ever tried it? Seriously, have you just opened the window, stuck your head out, and done it yourself? It’s freakin’ fun, Jeff!


Tony Wakefield-Jones is a 10-year-old psychologically gifted Airedale. He can be found on Facebook at 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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