Sunday, October 17, 2021

Opposable thumbs are overrated




Tony Wakefield-Jones





Dear Tony:
How do I keep my dog, Mr. T, from helping himself to “people food” such as our peanut butter?
Adam C. – Columbia, MO 

Dear Mr. Adam:

Forgive me for sounding a bit insensitive but you appear to be a somewhat shortsighted biped. In my home, I am encouraged to learn human skills. For example, in the past few months, I have discovered how to open the front door—unassisted. Yes, I may have surprised my fair share of UPS men, but I now provide additional value to my household.

I have also learned that, when shocked, “Brown” can do very little for you but stare. So now, when the doorbell rings and the urge hits me to run around frantically and bark like the house is on fire, I have an outlet for my energy. Plus, as our front door is down a flight of stairs, my perpetually lazy daddies can simply call out, “Tony, answer the door.” And I do.

Of course, if you had to eat the same grub day in and day out, I bet you wouldn’t let the absence of opposable thumbs keep you out of a sealed peanut butter jar either. Plus, I’ve seen Survivor—I know you humans are willing to do just about anything for food.




Dear Tony:
What’s the best kind of cat?
Bob S. – Naples, FL

Dear Bob:

Though I suspect you are trying to set me up to say “dead,” I’m not falling for your seemingly clever little ploy.

Mr. T helps himself to an afternoon snack. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Mr. T helps himself to an afternoon snack. SUBMITTED PHOTO

I am told that cats play an important role in our society—exactly what, though, is a mystery to me.

I suppose if one is not strong enough to handle a real pet, such as a DOG, a cat could be considered a viable—albeit somewhat irritating—substitute.

To be fair, my daddies once had a 30-pound cat—now that’s quite a beast. Even I knew better than to mess around in that litter box.

However, I do wish the “catapult” were an Olympic event. Who would want to miss a televised airborne kitty going for the Gold?




Dear Tony:
Living in my house are two dogs: a superior-breed Airedale and a passive-aggressive Chihuahua. There are also three adults. Despite my efforts, each dog prefers to spend his time with another adult, a situation that has placed me as runner-up in two canine relationships. What am I doing wrong?
Randy J. – Naples, FL

Dear Mr. “Randy”:

In spite of the fact that you share the same name and household demographics as my Fiddler’s Creek residence, I am going to pretend I don’t notice the similarities and answer honestly. Do not blame the dogs. There is clearly something wrong with you. You are broken and beyond repair.




Dear Tony:
How do I keep all these pesky mosquitoes from ruining my life here in Southwest Florida?
Jan S. – Naples, FL

Dear Jan:

Run faster.



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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