The Kurz Korner

Amusing Articles 
PALPATING TEMPERAMENT
By Richard C. Kurz


The following interview with Dr. Wolfgang O'Niel was
conducted in response to the thousands of cards and letters I
have received from my readers expressing interest in this
talented young man's uncanny ability to palpate temperament in
young puppies. I met with the good doctor at his palatial
mansion in the foothills outside of Larchmont, Wyoming. He had
had a particularly gruelling day at his clinic nearby, and, as
we spoke, rested comfortably in his den surrounded by portraits
of famous canines he had palpated. ...

                        ****************** 

Reporter:     "Dr. O'Niel, my readers ..."

Dr. O'Niel:   "Don't call me 'Doctor'. ... Call me 'Wolfie'. ...All my friends
do."

Rep.          "OK, Wolfie. ... My readers seem to be really fascinated by what
they hear about temperament palpation. When did you discover the technique?"

Dr.           "Quite by accident, actually. ... I was in the hip palpating business at 
the time. ... You know, ... anesthetize them; palpate their rear ends; excuse
yourself; throw the dart and return exclaiming, 'Perfect!' or '1-2' or '3-2' and 
that was that.  ... I could do about twenty an hour on a good day. ... Well, one day my
assistant lined the little buggers up backwards and, as a joke, I feltup their little
heads. ... I pronounced four normal, three a little edgy, and one blatantly homosexual
.... Their owners were delirious. ... As with hips, if my diagnosis was `poor',
the owner would normally dispose of the animal somehow. If 'normal', they would 
go away happy."

Rep.         "But what if you're wrong?? ... What if a dog that you say is `normal'
grows up to be weird, crazy, afraid, or otherwise distraught?"

Dr.           "Environment, of course! ... I can only palpate what heredity
has provided. ... Environment is up to the owner. ... Besides, if someone 
returns with one really strung out, I take an 8X10  glossy and give them a 
certificate attesting to my opinion that the dog is of show quality. ... Seldom see
them after that."

Rep.          "That certainly doesn't sound very  scientific."

Dr.           "What? ... Scientific? ... Certainly it's scientific! ... I assign 
certification numbers. I keep records. I even tattoo my findings on
their ears....  How scientific can you get?"

Rep.          "At what age is it best to have your puppy's temperament
palpated?"

Dr.           "Oh, any age. ... So long as you are old enough to come up with the 
twenty bucks I charge. ... I..."

Rep.          "Not the owners age. ... The puppy's  age."

Dr.           "Oh! ... The younger, the better. ... In my experience, the
palpation procedure is more effective with very young puppies. ... No
teeth, you realize."

Rep.          "Are you continuing to refine your studies?"

Dr.           "Yes, indeed. ... I'm doing research right now on `pre-natal'
temperament palpation. ... No question, I can do it. ... Once I get that
procedure established, who knows where I can go? ...  Preconception
palpation, perhaps.  ... The sky is the limit!"

Rep.          "Do you recommend that all puppies be palpated for temperament?"

Dr.           "Only if the breeder really cares. ... If he is reallyinterested in 
bettering the line. ... Of course they must, dummy! ... If he cannot come 
to my clinic in person, he can ship the dogs. ... I have a beautiful kennel area. ...  
Only $24.00 a day plus palpation charges.  ... On the other hand, if
he is really strapped for funds, he can send a photograph of the dogs. ..."

Rep.          "You palpate photographs??"

Dr.           "Of course! ... For years we judged hips on x-rays without ever
seeing     the  dog, or even being sure it was a dog's hips we were looking
at. ...     Could have been a Coyote, or a Dingo, for all we knew.  ... I
assure you    that my accuracy with temperaments will be about the same.  ...
You'll have to tattoo the little fellow yourself though."

Rep.          "This has been a most enlightening interview, Dr. O'Niel."

Dr.           "Wolfie!"

Rep.          "Wolfie. ... I'm sure my readers will be very interested in your
service. ...    You have been most kind."

Dr.           "Here. ... Before you go, have a 'Wolfie' keychain, and a pair
of  bookends. ... Explain to your readers that we have a special next
month...  All the money goes for research, of course."

Rep.          "Of course." 
 

 


 
 
 
 

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