The dog therapist is IN

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration (entitled “Recurring Dream”) is, from the point of view of this blog, quite timely:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

That’s a dog therapist ‘therapist for dogs’ (a Use N + N compound); see discussion in my 9/22 posting “therapist dog, dog therapist”. In this case, for a patient who’s had the canine equivalent of the common nightmare of being naked in public (especially in front of a class or while giving a speech).

From my 9/22 posting: #1 there, an earlier example (from 10/4/10) of a Bizarro dog therapist ‘therapist for dogs’:


Now, about the significance of the dog collar in #1: it’s a symbol of ownership and submission to control (in the form of leashes), and then by extension, of civilization — a dog with a collar is a decent, law-abiding dog, as opposed to a wild, feral dog. The parallel is to people wearing clothes — a clothed person is a decent, civilized person, as opposed to a naked savage. (Hence the double distress of being naked in public: you are not only physically and emotionally vulnerable, you are also outside the protections and privileges of the civilized world.)

Yes, the dog in #2 has no collar. That could be for several reasons. It could just be that Piraro didn’t think collars were relevant to the point of this cartoon, so he drew a minimal dog. It could be that the dog in #2 is exploring its wild side, sans collar. Or the dog in #2 could be enjoying going without a collar in the privacy of indoors. It certainly doesn’t look at all feral — it’s small and cute, while the dog in #1 has a tinge of the wolf in it.

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