Pet People should start their day at the Pooch Cafe!
I can’t get enough of the zany adventures of Poncho, the little dog with big attitude who’s at the center of the “Pooch Café” universe. The comic strip, by Paul Gilligan, is a must-read for all die-hard pet lovers.
Many people now read The Leaf-Chronicle online, and I do too, because it’s a convenient one-stop place for news, photos, video and community information. But I prefer and will never give up the printed page. And while I enjoy the daily crossword puzzles and other games, my absolute favorite is a daily dose of the “Pooch Café.” It’s the first thing I turn to after pouring my morning cup of coffee.
Even if you too read the printed paper, you might have missed this gem, because it appears on the front of the Classified section. But don’t miss it one day longer!
Poncho is a little dog who thinks he’s a tough guy, but at heart, he’s an insecure wuss. Much to his horror, his owner married a cat-loving woman, so he has to deal with several feline roommates—enemies in his book—as well as a friendly fish who serves as a sounding board (a fish he often takes along on misadventures not suited for pets with gills) Poncho hates his owner’s cat-loving wife, Carmen (unless she’s feeding him), and conspires to break up their marriage, hoping his master will find a wife who digs dogs.
Poncho cavorts all over town with a muttly crew and hangs out at the corner bar, the Pooch Café, where canines plot against cats and try to invent a catapult to send them all into the sun. The pack also commiserates about the trials and tribulations of canine life.
One of my favorites: Poncho is on top of the couch, peering out the window and barking madly at squirrels that dared enter his domain. His master screams, “Poncho, shut up!” Poncho barks, master yells. Bark, shut up; bark, shut up; bark shut up. Later, Poncho goes to the Pooch Café,’ sits at the bar with a drink and complains wearily to his buddies, “My master wouldn’t shut up ALL DAY.”
As one who’s often screamed “Shut up!” to a yapping dog, before reading that strip, I’d never thought about the fact that my screaming might annoy a dog as much as their barking annoys me.
One of the best running series was when Poncho, a city boy, was dragged along on a camping trip. He got into all kinds of trouble, but his main worry was running out of food, so he asked his master if they could eat Carmen if they ran out. Finally his master said—after being bugged to death by the fretting Poncho who, like most dogs, lives to eat—“Yes! Yes! If we run out of food you can eat Carmen!” Poncho promptly gets the salt and liberally sprinkles it atop Carmen’s head.
Carmen, despite being a cat person, tries to befriend Poncho, and he sometimes weakens, but only for a moment. His pride won’t let him give in totally.
And like many dogs, Poncho panics if he has to take a pill. His master tries the old hot-dog trick, but Poncho knows the game and nibbles around the pill, to which his master wails, “you’ll eat kitty litter but won’t eat a tiny pill?” But despite his Dennis the Menace ways, Poncho just wants love and acceptance.
Just as one spouse might ask the other, “Would you get married again if I die?” Poncho asks his master if he’d get another dog if he dies. When his master says “maybe,” Poncho is beside himself and accuses his owner of not really loving him. His master, feeling sorry for the little runt, relents and says “No. I could never get another dog! You’re irreplaceable,” then asks Poncho if he’d get a new owner. Poncho immediately and tersely replies, “A dog’s gotta eat.”
Some people think comic strips are childish. But I disagree and believe a good comic is a wide window into our inner world where we can witness our true selves.
Cubicle dwellers living in the world of myopic management have the top-notch Dilbert (my second favorite comic strip) to mirror their desk bound lives, and now pet lovers have Poncho and the Pooch Café to bring a little cheer to their pet-filled world. So grab and paper and pull up a stool.
I love the strip above for so many reasons. One, The Boy Who Cried Wolf is my all-time favorite morals story and two, you know my feelings about most children.
posted by Sandy at 8/28/2007 06:22:00 PM