I hate smoking in general, but I’m especially against marketing tobacco to our youth – Prometheus included. Yesterday morning a cigarette butt cast aside on my front lawn, courtesy of some unidentified douchebag, proved too tempting a morsel for the young canine. No, he didn’t light up; I have a strict rule
against minors playing with matches. Yet he did swallow the item whole.
One frantic call to the Vet and teaspoon of “Ipecac” later, the puppy vomited up the illicit material without any apparent lasting effects. Well that’s not quite true, since the incident may have achieved at least one long-term beneficial result. Today, Prometheus happened on another used cigarette and granted it only a cursory sniff before moving on.
The event with my dog reminded me of a similar and equally successful dollop of negative conditioning employed on my sister Lisa many years ago. During school hours one day, my father caught his sixteen-year-old daughter smoking and drinking with some other kids. He elected to punish her by purchasing a carton of cigarettes and a quart of vodka … and forcing her to smoke and drink until she puked her guts out. In today’s more enlightened world, Dad’s conduct likely would’ve earned him a charge of criminal abuse. Lisa probably would’ve been removed from our house, for her own protection, by the Division of Youth and Family Services. Of course, times were different back then. No one called the cops on Dad and nobody tried to take Lisa away. Best of all, Dad’s unusual training method worked exactly as he’d intended. Lisa never smoked or drank again, other than the occasional glass of wine.
Come to think of it, I don’t want a drunken dog any more than I want a smoker. So where’s that bottle of vodka and Prometheus’ extra water bowl?