Dr. Doolittle

By Bob Dvorak

Most people who know my wife, even those who have know her as many years as I have, don’t know that in her younger years she had a gift — she could talk to the animals (and they could talk to her as well, thank you very much, Dr. Doolittle). But she used her teacher-child-psych skills in college to carry this capability one step further — by talking to them in soothing fashion she could actually hypnotize them and offer post-hypnotic behavior modification.

She discovered this quite accidentally one afternoon as a teenager when her family dog, persisting in defending the entire neighborhood, was nearly hit by a car. She taught him the limits of the property and explained that the limits of the property were not only all that he had to defend, but, additionally, that he shouldn’t stray beyond the boundaries. Son of a bitch [sic], it worked…

Anyway, the word got out and she developed a reasonably healthy side business supporting her college tuition. All kinds of people with all types of pets came to her for behavior modification. Until the day came when a local dairy farmer asked her to “tame” his prize-winning bull. It had long since been proven that the offspring from this particular bovine were superior milk producers. At the same time, getting this bull to calm down enough for even three farmhands to lead him into the mating pasture made him frequently wonder if it was worth the trouble. So he asked my wife (at the time, my girlfriend) to explain to him what this was all about. And if she could throw in a little post-hypnotic suggestion about tranquility and the rewards of that pasture…

She gently approached the bull, talking quietly to him all the time. But he snorted and ran and shook his head and generally refused to hear anything she was saying. After several hours of this she had to admit defeat, went to the farmer, gave him his money back, and explained that apparently this particular animal had such trepidation, nay, downright fear, of listening to her, that it wasn’t going to work.

All would have been well, except that she (my wife) was so traumatized by the loss of her power in this particular instance (such failure had never happened before) that it actually damaged her ability. She could no longer concentrate on the animal at hand, couldn’t begin to hypnotize it, aw crap, she couldn’t even understand what they were saying any more. And had to give it up…

‘Twas the super cattle fraid to listen hexed my gal’s hypnosis.

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