"After reading your column two weeks ago, I did the right thing and put old Buckshot down," Uncle Spud said as we nibbled our granola bars and thumbed through the latest issue of Mother Earth News.
"A lot of people did," I said. "Ever since those eco-scientists in New Zealand discovered that dogs are causing global warming, environmentally responsible people everywhere are getting rid of their dogs. It's the right thing to do."
"Sometimes we've got to sacrifice for the good of all mankind," Spud proclaimed.
"It'll be worth it if we can save the planet," I agreed.
"Did you shoot your dog yet?" Spud asked.
"Not yet," I confessed, "but I got two that belonged to the neighbors, and I talked a little kid into taking his pup to the pound."
"That's good," Spud said. "Those green scientists say it takes 2.07 acres of land to feed one dog per year. By getting rid of three of them, you just saved 6.21 acres we can turn into a wilderness study area to help fight global warming."
"It makes me feel like such a good person," I purred.
"I know what you mean," Spud said. "Every dog we eliminate brings us that much closer to stopping global warming."
"Al Gore would be proud," I assured him.
"I was going to get rid of my SUV," Spud continued, "until those environmental scientists discovered that dogs are causing a hundred times more global warming than pickup trucks. So instead of getting rid of the truck, I decided to send old Buckshot to the big fire hydrant in the sky. With the money I save by not buying dog food, I'll buy new off-road tires for the truck."
"Think of it as cap and trade," I said. "In Obama's cap and trade legislation, a company can continue to pollute if they buy carbon credits from one of Al Gore's green companies. Al Gore promises to plant trees and flowers to offset the harmful CO2 emissions of the offender. We can do the same thing with dogs and SUVs. The eco-scientists say that a dog is twice as hard on mother earth as a pickup truck, so for every truck we buy, we've got to eliminate half a dog. Just think, by putting old Rover out of his misery, you can own a Ford F-150 and a Chevy Suburban, too. It's an equal trade as far as global warming is concerned. We have scientific consensus on that."
"I think people should be required to show proof that they've sent a dog to heaven before they buy a SUV," Spud remarked.
"Me, too," I agreed. "I think by putting dogs to sleep, a person should be able to accumulate carbon credits. The carbon credits could be applied to buying a SUV, paying your power bill, paying admission to our national parks, or paying the fine for walking on the rare, cryptobiotic soil. In fact, once we consider how harmful dogs are to the environment, putting down a dog should buy enough carbon credits to excuse a whole bunch of environmental sins, just like cap and trade. Put down a dog and you can ignore the no trespassing sign and drive into Hidden Splendor without guilt.
"I'm sure it's the trend of the future," Spud agreed. "In fact, dog ownership will soon be a test of moral character. Only bad people will own dogs. People who care about mother earth will doggedly shun man's best friend. Green communities will be dog-free zones, and dog tracks on wilderness trails will be as offensive to eco-warriors as horse poop. Eventually, dogs will be outlawed completely."
"Unenlightened dog-loving Neanderthals will surely resist," I warned. "Evil dog owners will cling to their leashes and veterinary manuals, and little old ladies will try to hide their disgusting little lap dogs from the Canine Control Cops."
"I know," Spud sputtered. "When dogs are outlawed, only outlaws will have dogs. But a little common sense dog control is never a bad thing. It only makes good sense."