Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Balls to the Wall

Many years ago, my sister married a man who had a ten-year-old Cocker Spaniel mix named Suggs who wasn’t neutered. My brother-in-law couldn’t bring himself to “do that to Suggs.” Meanwhile, Suggs repeatedly escaped under the fence and wandered the neighborhood in search of girls. As a new wife, my sister laid down the law and took Suggs herself to be neutered. She had no qualms about what needed to be done and Suggs not only stopped running away, but went on to live another eight years.

Why is it that some men have such an emotional attachment to their pet’s testicles that the thought of castrating him makes a guy squeamish? If we wanted to spend tax payers’ money on something worthwhile, this would be as good a study as any.

We could compare the resistance to desex an animal in many ways. For instance, do women feel that neutering their dog, cat or horse will make the animal have low self-esteem or look less manly? Does it make a difference if the animal is long or short-haired? An unneutered or “whole” boxer or sphinx cat is obvious in his ability to reproduce; not so much on the collie or Maine Coon boys. People do realize, don't they, that the primary visible statement of maleness is not the testicles, but that other thing that males of all species enjoy showing off? 

I’m not going to lecture about the need to spay and neuter your pet cat or dog. Unless you’re committed to improving the breed of your purebred pet by researching, networking, showing, testing and all the complications that come with breeding and raising litters, your pet shouldn’t be reproducing. Responsible breeders will speuter and retire their breeding animals after a few years and place them in pet homes, realizing the animal will be happier and healthier that way.

The Neuticles company capitalizes on what is presumably a predominately human male attachment to testicles by selling fake testicles of all sizes for many species (cats, dogs, horses, bulls). The idea is to have your vet replace the real deal with artificial gonads so “your pet will never know what he’s missing”. I don’t think for a minute animals are that stupid. He’s missing the source of his testosterone which fuels aggression, territorial behavior and a sex drive that puts teenagers to shame. And yes, even if he has the benefit of Neuticle implants, I’m sure he can tell by the smell and feel that he must come out of anesthesia in Hollywood for fake pets.

Neuticles were invented for men by a man who suddenly realized that if his dog were neutered, he’d be losing his testicles (yes, really). The argument is that if the thought of Spike losing his family jewels causes the owner to keep his pet whole, Neuticles takes away that excuse and encourages neutering. The company claims that 250,000 pets have Neuticles. That’s 250,000 men who couldn’t imagine having their pet neutered without grabbing their own crotch and shouting, “No! Not his balls!”

I know men like this, though fortunately not too many. These are men who project their cat or dog’s proclivity to hump pillows, legs or anything that moves as a statement to their own virility (or lack thereof). To them I say…grow a pair of your own and allow your pet to just relax and be a pet without the burden of being a victim of his hormones the rest of his life. He’ll be okay. If it makes you feel better to substitute fake testicles, then do it. I promise I won’t laugh in your face. I’ll wait until you turn around.