Dear Dogs of Oregon:
My name is Kali. I am an easy-going black and brown dog that hails near the ocean. I am writing to alert you about an ominous political development in the Oregon Legislature that could have dire consequences for our future. I write with the intention of rallying us all to a great cause.
That cause is treats!
The aforementioned development is a proposed bill to increase self-service gasoline in Oregon. Do you know what that portends, my friends? Let me tell you: the spread of loathsome self-service gasoline means disappeared station attendants, which means no treats for us when our owners’ vehicles need refueling and we bound along for the joyful ride, often with our heads out the windows, tongues rolling wild.
Here is the cruel reality of self-service gasoline: No treats! No goofy greetings! No special scratches! No inquires about our lovable or annoying characteristics. Not even the occasional surprise high of a pot-laced treat given by mistake! Self-service will also lead to the terrible loss of close friends at our regular station or a one-time acquaintance with a working class man or woman in the hinterlands. It means the loss of a unique Oregon quirk that either delights or vexes a visitor but that all dogs love.
What is happening to Oregon? We dogs want to know!
House Bill 2482, which allows 24-hour self-serve fuel on most counties in Eastern Oregon, passed unanimously in the House last week and is now scheduled for consideration by the Senate. Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, introduced the bill and claimed in an interview, “The bill affects 5 percent of Oregonians.”
This is the incremental Beginning of the End for dog treats at gasoline stations in Oregon because in a few years, there won’t be anyone employed to give them out. Representative Bentz thought we weren’t paying attention. He was wrong. If he has a dog, he should have consulted it first. Bad law!
According to a news account of the legislation’s debate, Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth, said the purpose of the bill is to make sure that people are not stranded in remote areas. “This is not an endorsement of self-service state-wide,” he said, of House Bill 2482.
Sure it is. It has already begun and it creeps west, into the rainy heart of Oregon.
Should this heinous bill pass the Senate, and it probably will, and should Governor Brown sign it into law, and she probably will, I predict within a short time, the total end for our happy canine way of road-trip life.
I might also add that this law will eventually lead to the total end of something else, something truly terrible for our owners—the ability to strike up a conversation with the folks who fill the tanks, a conversation that often ensues because of our excitable reactions to the prospects of treats ingrained in our memories. We never forget the face of our favorite treat men and women!
These conversations, mostly about dogs, but often about rain, restaurants, and better directions when smartphones miserably fail, are good for humans and they need more of them, just like I need treats at the gas stations. They make us all happy.
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