If I were a dog, I would be the greatest dog that ever was. Most dogs like to rummage through the trash for scraps of food. Not me. No way. If I were a dog, I would eat only the fanciest food. I would eat fresh lobster and caviar, and I would eat at the table with a fork and knife, like an aristocrat. And when I finished, I would wash it all down with a glass of Chardonnay. That’s what I would do if I were a dog. Gee, why doesn’t every dog do this?
Dogs have a funny way of greeting each other. When two dogs meet for the first time, they sniff each other’s rear ends. That may work for your ordinary, unsophisticated canine, but not for me. If I were a dog, I would greet other dogs with a smile. Then, I’d extend my long canine fingers and give the other dog a firm handshake. I’d say, “How do you do, fellow dog?” and “Can you believe this weather we’re having?” I would impress the other dog with my good manners and affable personality. They would have to agree that I was the greatest dog that ever was.
I wouldn’t stop there. No, sir. There are other things I would do differently, if I were a dog. The average dog can perform tricks on command, like sit, stay, and roll over. When a dog does these things, it makes the dog’s owners very proud. The owners show off their dog to family and friends and enter their dog into contests and talent shows. The owners could often be heard saying, “Boy, what a great dog we have?”
If I were a dog, I wouldn’t do tricks at all. I would impress my owners with my keen intellect. I’d discuss philosophical matters with them, like the mind-body problem and Pascal’s wager. And when they showed me off to family and friends or entered me into contests, I would perform mathematical calculations. I’d write new proofs and theorems that challenged the very tenets of string theory. My work would attract the attention of scientists worldwide, and NASA would recruit me to work on new formulas for space travel. I’d be the world’s first dog scientist.
The job at NASA would be hard work. Most dogs wouldn’t be able to handle a tough job like that, and they’d surely crack under the pressure. Not me. If I were a dog, I would excel at NASA. They’d be so impressed with my work they’d promote me to the rank of astronaut. I would lead a team of scientists into deep space and discover untold wonders. Like a new planet populated by a race of aliens called the Blingmorphs. The Blingmorphs would try to start a war with the people of Earth. But don’t worry. I’d stop that from happening with my expert knowledge of diplomacy — a skillset most dogs do not possess. Later, people of Earth would become friends with the Blingmorphs, and we’d discover what a kind and generous race of aliens they truly are.
Man. If only I were a dog. I would have such an interesting and productive life. I would do such wonderful things for science and humanity, and everyone would love me and say I was a good boy. Maybe someday I’ll be a dog. Until then I can dream.
David Sandwich: I’m a professor of psychology, and I write humor and speculative fiction in my spare time. My humor has appeared in Frazzled, Defenestration, and Sci-Fi Lampoon. My spec stories have appeared in Jitter Press, The Literary Hatchet, and Tales to Terrify.