Dear Dawg: We love Happy the Dog. That’s the name of little Emily’s service animal. Happy the Dog has been with us for two years now, and has become a part of our family. We have had no problems whatsoever, and the kids love Happy the Dog.
But rules are rules. Last Tuesday Happy the Dog got into a number of backpacks and ate the lunch of at least three students. If a student had done this, we would have imposed a disciplinary penalty—like a couple of days in ISS. We see no reason why Happy the Dog should be treated differently. Like I said, he’s part of our family here.
But I thought I better check with you, Dawg. I don’t want the PETA people to get on my back on this. We are just trying to enforce our rules fairly. And maybe I shouldn’t be asking you about this: you being a Dawg, do you have a conflict of interest here? RULES IS RULES.
DEAR RULES IS RULES: I don’t think it’s the PETA people you have to worry about—it’s the ACLU. Sending Happy the Dog to ISS would be a violation of the constitutional right of due process, and the ACLU would be all over that. It’s a fundamental rule of due process that you have to give notice of the types of behaviors that might get someone in trouble. That’s why you distribute the Code of Conduct at the beginning of the year and ask parents to sign a receipt. That’s why you have a student assembly to go over the rules.
Has Happy the Dog read the Code of Conduct? Hmmm. I didn’t think so. Did you go over its provisions with Happy the Dog to be sure he understands? No? Well, then, you cannot punish Happy the Dog for this behavior. You have not given him notice that eating a student’s lunch is a violation of the rules.
Maybe I do have a conflict of interest here, but I just have to say that I think you are punishing Happy the Dog for being a dog. Dogs eat other people’s lunches. It’s what they do. FREE HAPPY THE DOG!!
DAWG BONE: LET’S LET DOGS BE DOGS…..OR DAWGS, AS THE CASE MAY BE.