Sometimes, the answer is right in front of you and you don't even realize it. Take, for example, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in Clearwater, Fla. For the past few months, people in the office have been walking on two new rugs bearing the department's emblem, and it wasn't until last week that someone finally noticed that instead of reading "In God we trust," like they were supposed to, the emblems on the rugs read, "In dog we trust."
I, for one, think that is the greatest thing ever, but people in Florida take their God stuff pretty seriously, so the Sheriff's Office's response was to remove the two $500 rugs and notify the rug manufacturer about its little screwup.
I imagine the manufacturer will replace the rugs with corrected ones and possibly ferret out the individual responsible for the mistake. If and when the individual has been ferreted out, I want to shake that person's hand -- particularly if the mistake was made on purpose -- because he or she is absolutely right; in dog we do trust. In God? Not so much to be honest with you. I don't mean to knock God, but, well, let's look at some of the facts:
• People have seen dogs and can prove they exist. By contrast, I've often said I consider dogs to be the only evidence that God could conceivably exist and might actually like us.
• Research shows that talking to and petting a dog can lower your blood pressure. Talking to God might accomplish the same thing, but I defy you to try to pet God.
• It's not a sin to take a dog's name in vain or to make a graven image of a dog.
• Dogs don't care if you covet your neighbor's wife or house, forget to keep the Sabbath day holy or even -- God forbid -- worship cats.
• As far as I know, no one has ever killed people, blown up a building or waged a holy war in a dog's name.
• Dogs have never destroyed entire cities because the people in those cities were having too much fun or made it rain for 40 days and 40 nights so that everyone and everything drowned except for a few people and animals on an ark.
• Athletes rarely annoy the heck out of everyone by giving dogs all the credit and glory every time they do something good.
• God won't help you clean up if you drop food on the floor.
• Depending on what you believe, God may have given one child unto mankind about 2,000 years ago to cleanse us of our sins. How many puppies do mother dogs give unto mankind every year for exactly the same purpose?
• God will never lick your face to try to cheer you up when you're feeling down.
Actually, that last point might not be all that valid because if you look at it from a different angle, would you really want God to lick your face if somehow he could? (Of course, he could if he wanted to.) I say no. I bet God would be pretty slobbery.
This is not to say that there are no advantages to trusting in God over dogs, mind you. There are definitely some nice things about God, including:
• God doesn't need to be walked or fed.
• God doesn't dig holes in the lawn or gnaw on your stuff.
• You never have to pick up God's poop -- in the literal sense, anyway.
The point, though, is that if you want tangible evidence, quantifiable results and real devotion, love and friendship, you are much better off going to a dog shelter than a church. I realize that a lot of folks out there might disagree wholeheartedly with that statement, and maybe God does work better for them, but that's probably because they don't own dogs. In my experience, dogs are ever so much more trustworthy.
So, to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, I would say keep the misprinted rugs or send them to me if you don't. Every other sheriff in America has rugs reading "In God We Trust," and people evidently care so little about that statement that they'll walk on it for months before noticing it's misprinted. But if you tell folks to trust in dog, then you're doing something noteworthy.
And who knows? You might just be right. You sure would be in my estimation.
Todd Hartley wonders if maybe they meant they trust in Dog the bounty hunter. That would make sense in Florida. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.