Normally we don’t report on the pandemics nor epidemics that strike our local epidermis or pandermis, but sometimes a disorder so strange and unexpected strikes that even if it doesn’t affect the majority of our known world, it’s still newsworthy. Such is the case with the latest mouth-drying head-scratcher, “Random Canine Panting Syndrome” which makes me, among others, pant like a dog.
It only started about a week and a half ago when I had a head cold sufficient to make me incapable of breathing out my nose. Daddy-O the chef whipped us up a batch of his world famous* chicken nuggets. I was in a meeting with the editorial staff of my brothers at the time, but I was hungry and they sounded uncommonly good. My excitement overtook me, so instead of my usual smiling or simply saying “yay!” I opened wide, brightened my eyes to maximum contrast and panted like a dog.
It sounds strange indeed, but if you could hear it you’d say it sounds even stranger still. Panting like a dog? We don’t even have a dog and it’s pretty rare that I see one, so how could I have caught such a canine behavioral affluenza?
At first the affliction was contained, and I was the only one subject to its peculiar ways. Then, human-to-human infection began, and before I knew it, Daddy-O had it too. I would smile and pant like a giddy old dog, and then he’d smile and pant like a giddy (even older) dog too. Already it was becoming a serious problem in the entire community of my house, with 40% of the residents already showing symptoms.
The real problem with the panting disorder is that there is no fever and no discomfort, and as of yet, no known cure. Even as I dictate this article to Daddy-O, I feel a strong urge to pant coming on — due to the excitement of nearly being finished — and he feels a sympathetic urge to copy me (though he says it’s because it’s, and I quote, “just so cute.”)
If you’ve been in contact with a dog, specifically one that may have been panting, joyous or in some other way afflicted with “happiness” immediately wash your hands. It won’t help, but it’s the only advice I have.
* Well, the chicken nuggets are famous in my world. If you haven’t had or even heard of them I’d say it’s probably because my world is still pretty small, but it may also be that you don’t get out much, specifically into my kitchen.