WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Veterinarian General, the nationâ€™s highest-ranking physician for animals, expressed concern today that sexually-frustrated poodles are putting the nationâ€™s couches and reclining chairs at risk with aggressive humping that he said â€œdestroys the very fabric of our nation, or at least the fabric on the legs of furniture.â€
â€œWe are seeing a dramatic uptick in couch-humping by poodles in upper-middle class homes where the female of the household will not allow males to mate,â€ said Edward Kessler, a career public health official who testified before the Subcommittee on Domestic Animals and Household Furniture, which is under the aegis of the Senate Committee on Subjects That None of the Big-Deal Committees Want.
â€œIâ€™m tired of doing tricksâ€“I need a woman.â€
French poodles were enormously popular during the 50â€²s and 60â€²s, inspiring the â€œpoodle-skirtâ€ craze. Today the dogs satisfy unfulfilled feminine desires to dress up dolls or small children who have grown, and the resulting â€œfeminizationâ€ of male poodles has been found to produce canine frustration as the dogs are kept indoors or chastened by cries of â€œbad dogâ€ when they seek sexual satisfaction.
Couch-humping is considered acceptable behavior in Europe, where both men and women expose more skin to view than is customary in the U.S. â€œIt is reely only in the puritancial US that un chien may not freely display his affection pour un divan,â€ notes Jacques Trintignant, French Minister of Anti-Americanism. â€œIn France, to love is to live.â€
The U.S. Surgeon General, the public official responsible for human health, rarely ventures into questions of sexuality, although Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who held office during the first Clinton administration, created an uproar when she said that masturbation should be taught to young people in school in order to reduce venereal disease. â€œI am shocked that she would say that,â€ said James Corrigan, head of the Family First Foundation at the time. â€œKids should learn that kind of thing at home, the way they traditionally have.â€
Couch-humping by poodles is uncommon among the lower classes, who view the dogs as effete, and also rare among wealthy families, who favor less neurotic breeds such as labrador and golden retrievers. â€œThereâ€™s an old joke among dog breeders and wedding planners,â€ says kennel owner Marcia Lansdowne. â€œHow do you spot the bride at a WASP wedding? Sheâ€™s the one kissing the golden retriever.â€