I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Fat Dogs, Happy Dogs, All-Knowing Cats

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe," Rutger Hauer says at the end of Blade Runner, a film which Hair Balls has never actually seen in its entirety, because we've fallen asleep during every attempt. But in looking through this week's batch of amazingly adoptable animals at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, we noticed more stray dogs than usual, and we sort of drifted off, thinking about things they might see out on their own, and how bewildering, scary and astonishing those things might be. And then, apparently, we thought it'd be about the same as a half-man-half-android talking about tears in the rain and warships off Orion. You know -- far out.

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Photos by Robyn Arouty
We're certain about one thing Bedford has seen, and that's food. Apparently, this five-year-old beagle learned to survive in the mean streets by dressing up as a human and hitting McDonald's. Hell, it beats foraging for moldy crumbs around the Dumpster. According to Bedford's kennel card, someone found him, took him in for three weeks, and then brought him to BARC. Maybe the poor dude couldn't deal with the constant pizza deliveries and slobbery Twinkie wrappers littering the floor. But maybe Bedford, like so many of us, has been trying to drown his sorrows via junk food, and since he's been out on his own, no one's been there to stage an intervention and tell him firmly but lovingly "Put. The. Kolache. Down." Is that person out there? Is that person you? A1005005 

 


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We're also pretty sure we know what Coco's seen. And if she could tell us, she'd say "You wanna know what I've seen? Well, here's all I've seen in my four months, in chronological order: Some schmuck, some schmuck's house, some schmuck's car, and then the lonely inside of a cage. Pretty cool, huh? And guess what -- pretty soon I'll be able to tell you how I've seen the needle. Oh, wait. I won't. Because I'll be dead. Sorry for being a downer. Go back to watching Dancing With the Stars or something. Don't let me bring you down." A1004379 

 






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With Mabel, we're actually more interested in what we're seeing, namely: a basset/labrador retriever mix. What an awesomely odd combo of two incredibly sweet breeds. It seems random, like a late-night munchie jones, and all you have left in your fridge is a rigid tortilla and six packets of soy sauce. You say "what the hell," and it winds up tasting like manna from heaven. We're not sure which breed is which in that analogy, but we do know that bassets' stubbiness is inherently funny, and right now we're amusing ourselves by thinking of a basset-St. Bernard mix, and that's making us wonder what would've happened if Cujo were a basset. It'd have made for a much funnier book, that's for sure. A1005081

 




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Jesus effing Christ, have you ever seen a happier dog?! Seriously. Imagine seeing this two-year-old Ibizan hound mix's infectiously good-natured mug first thing in the morning. Big, burly construction workers would smile like little girls. Hardened criminals would take him to the park instead of knocking over a liquor store. Crackheads would put off hitting the pipe for at least half a minute. Pretty soon, a winged unicorn would appear on the crest of a giant fucking rainbow, and everyone in the Middle East would buy each other a Coke. Of course, none of this can happen as long as Cash is stuck in BARC. So what are you waiting for -- or do you not want world peace?  A1002476 

 




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Tinker knows what you're thinking. He knows what you did last summer, and he knows what secrets lurk in the hearts of men. In fact, he knows exactly when and precisely how you will die. He is the alpha and the omega. He has always existed and will always exist. They say he was a stray, but that's only what he wants us to believe. The truth is beyond our understanding. Only Tinker knows which suitcase has the million dollars every time, and only he can truly separate the wheat from the chaff. In fact, he's really the only one who knows what chaff is. He knows you want him. He knows you will stop what you're doing right now and go immediately to BARC. Sphinx-like, he will wait. A1001216

 




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Dodger looks incredibly poised, like he's waited his whole two years to be photographed for Hair Balls, and if he nails it, there's no telling what doors will open -- Petsmart catalogs, Friskies commercials, Disney movies. Basically what we're saying is, if you adopt Dodger, you'll probably wind up rich. A1001136

 








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Lynx's owner surrendered this three-year old gray tabby because, we're assuming, the owner wound up being allergic to cute things. So he probably adopted a possum, or maybe a reeking stillborn pig fetus. What a lucky guy. He gets a wretched chunk of decaying porcine detritus, and all you're able to get is one of the cutest cats in feline history. Really, if you don't pick this guy up, you're a moron -- and Tinker will even tell you so. To your face. A1003107

 






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We're wondering if Lynx's former owner has a twin running around, because Cissy is an owner-surrender as well. Our partner in this column, Robyn Arouty, wrote on Cissy's kennel card "very shy, sad -- never eye contact." See, originally, we just thought Cissy was too excited and in love with the wonders of the world around her to look directly into the lens, but nope. Turns out she's freakin' miserable. And you know what? We're going to exploit that misery and try to make you feel guilty the rest of the day. Why? Because it's effective. How do you think the Christian Children's Fund raises all that dough for those little hare-lipped kids on the other side of the world who get their drinking water from the same place where the yaks bathe? Yeah, think about that shit. OK, now stop and think about Cissy. She's not on the other side of the world. She's right here in Houston. Now do something about it. A1001218 

 

Once again, a huge thanks to photographer Robyn Arouty, who really captures the animals' personalities in her pics. (See the link in the introduction for BARC's website/hours/directions). 

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