Some time ago, we examined postcards featuring dogs and found that the number one thing our canine friends do in comic postcards is, well, number one. The number of postcards involving peeing pekes and poodles was so vast that there was an equal and opposite number of postcards featuring dogs who weren’t urinating just when you expected them to. (The whole series of dialogues between trees and passing pooches is worthy of a blog on its own.)
In all fairness, then, it should be noted that postcard dogs had pother themes. For example, as seen in the exceedingly weird card above, dogs could fetch. (Personally, I think she should throw that catch back: too small.)
But for sheer number of postcards, probably the second largest theme is the relationship between the dog and the flea. Dogs and fleas just went together in the cartoon world.
Although we get to see a lot of different dogs dealing with the problem, though, we do not get quite the same variety of gags.
Of course, if you can draw a cute enough puppy, the presence of the joke does not distract from the postcard.
For every person who bought a postcard because they liked the caption, there were ten who would write “Doesn’t this look JUST like old Truver after a long walk?”
You did see other jokes involving dogs at their second most popular pastime, but, oddly, most of the “scratching” jokes tended to be given to chickens. (Mind you, sometimes it was chickens AND puppies.)
Of course, part of the fun was that scratching in public, for humans, was considered vulgar. There was nothing like a joke where you could substitute a dog doing something you wouldn’t dare do in public. Which brings us to another much celebrated habit of corgis and collies.
This does, of course, bring us back into the ever-popular category of butt jokes. This variety, of course, was totally acceptable since, after all, dogs do these things.
Dachshunds were perfectly natural for this barely evolved species of humor.
Do you think that’s why so many people spend their time trying to teach dogs to shake hands? Would that be more socially acceptable?
Let’s change subjects, and ends of the dog. We will move completely away from the habit of butt sniffing if we note that dogs on postcards were frequently cited for having that cold nose.
Everyone knew about cold noses. That cool, damp nose meant your dog was healthy, no matter where he’d been poking it.
Cartoonists who focused on the nose of the doodle were, of course, far from making any jokes about other parts of the dog. And there’s an end for our blog investigation.