Rivenbark: Dog as step stool was a chore thing

While the rest of the world was fretting over Sarah Palin’s 6-year-old son using the family dog as a step stool so he could reach the sink to do the dishes, I was like, “Whoa. How do you get a kid to do dishes?”

My next thought was “Wonder if I could layer all four of my cats in a tower of pliable fur in order to reach the shelf in my bedroom closet?”

One looked at me as if he could read my mind. His response is unprintable in a family newspaper.

So here’s the thing: I’m no fan of Palin (but then y’all knew that), but I’m a huge fan of kids doing housework of any kind, even if it means they have to build a flippin’ tower of dogs to reach those leaf-choked gutters.

I’m no fan of dogs either (but then y’all knew that). I often have to explain that I don’t “hate” dogs; I just don’t get them. This doesn’t mean, as some rude humans have implied, that I “have no soul” or “must’ve been dropped on my head at birth” or “don’t understand the symbiotic purity of unconditional love from a heart unmarred by life’s cruelty and an unfair world.”

Especially that last.

So when the world paused from its New Year’s resolutions to re-embrace cardio workouts and go to church to tsk-tsk over Palin’s admittedly clueless decision to post a photo of her son, Trig, standing on the family black lab to get closer to the dishes in the sink, I found myself in a horrifying predicament. I didn’t necessarily feel outraged and, worse still, I didn’t think Palin’s first response to critics (essentially, the dog will move it if needs to) was “tie a rock to her and see if she sinks” levels of witch. (Of course, she later must’ve borrowed the dog to use as a soap box because she went off on a nonsensical rant once she got her second wind – so OK, where’s that rock?)

While I don’t speak dog, some of my closest friends are besotted with them. From what I can tell, dogs are fairly able to let you know if they don’t like something, such as being subbed in as a step stool at the kitchen sink. When they were Trig’s age, my niece and nephew often used their golden retriever to rest their weary noggins on for long naps.

It’s rather a disservice to a breed that is particularly bright, from what I’m told, to think that it isn’t smart enough to move if it’s uncomfortable.

PETA, an animal rights organization known for its zany sense of humor, immediately condemned the dog-as-step stool photo without once mentioning the true miracle that a kid was voluntarily doing chores using the tools at hand.

I don’t expect to ever, EVER agree with Sarah Palin about anything again, so let’s just pretend that, like the time I ate chitlins because I thought they were macaroni, it never happened.