A Grin at the End: A Muppet to be…

February, 2012 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

By Carl SampsonCarl Sampson

When I grow up I want to be — drum roll, please —  a Muppet!

That’s right, I want to be a fuzzy-faced, freaky-looking, fun-loving force of unnature.

I have seen hundreds of Muppets on television and in the movies, but none look natural. Even Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are a bit on the bizarre side. You’ll never find them in a biology book.

Two things got me thinking about trading in my human card to become a Muppet.

The first thing was the new movie. In it, a Muppet goes through much of the movie thinking he was a human. Hey, if a Muppet can think he’s a human, why can’t a human think he’s a Muppet?

And, just for the record, the new Muppet movie is great. Singing, dancing — everything I would ever want. They travel to Hollyweird — I mean, Hollywood — and put on a telethon to regain control of the theater where their old TV show was made.

In the process, they win over all Americans. Well, this one, at least.

The second thing that makes me want to be a Muppet is Inga, the service dog my wife was training. Readers of this column may recall they we signed up to train service dogs for a year. We had the first, Ike, for six months. Then we had one of his sisters, Inga, until the end of the year.

I sure liked Inga. While Ike was a typical guy — he was a bit ornery.

Inga was a fuzzy-faced, freaky-looking, fun-loving force of nature. If Jim Henson himself were creating a dog as a Muppet, it would be just like Inga.

Whenever we took Inga anywhere — and she went almost everywhere — people stopped to pet her, talk about service dogs, ask where they could learn how to train dogs and generally ooh and ahh over her. She was a Labradoodle. I preferred to say she was a Poo-ador.  Or a Muppet.

She had all of the best traits of each breed. On the Lab side, she was sweet-tempered and willing to please, and she loved to swim and retrieve balls.

On the poodle side, she could learn even a complicated task in minutes. Turn off a light switch? No problem. Bring an object? A breeze.

She also had a goofy, Muppet-like side. She would get excited and run around the house. She particularly liked to skid on the bare floor. She would do a hundred laps around the house, skidding and sliding like it was the most fun a dog could ever have.

For us, it was the most fun we ever had to watch her.

At any rate, Inga will be a top-notch Mup … I mean, service dog.

After she’s trained for another year and certified, she’ll go to a disabled veteran or other person who’s in need and help them get around and manage their affairs.

She’ll also be the best Muppet ever.

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