We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Q: How do I protect my cockatoo or canary from bird flu? A: If you keep a cockatoo or canary as a pet, slaughter it immediately. The proper way to do this is to grab its body in your fist, walk it into the kitchen, place it on the cutting board, and lop its head off with a knife. Pretty much any knife will do. Bird necks are about as tough as celery.
I let my whining kid keep two parakeets once--what a racket, filthy birds, unfriendly and pecked everyone including the sobbing owner. Fortunately my draconian policy on pets-- offspring have to do all the care themselves--worked. Ten year old forgot to feed them, they died, much weeping and appropriate guilt ensued. Lesson learned and horrid birds gone.
But I do wonder nervously as my retriever happily chases huge brown rats at the bottom of our local elementary school when we will all be worrying about the plague and killing off dearest Fido...Likewise, everytime we go up to the summer house and go around sweeping up the rat droppings, etc. Trying to banish thoughts of hanta virus, etc. But that is another pandemic for future days...Until then, it is funny watching the bimbo trophy wives shrieking in horror at retriever drool and hair on their black pants, yakking on their cellphones whilst their offspring fall off the the geodesic dome, oblivious of the stunned kids and brown rats 50 feet away.