Last week I signed a form agreeing to have Zane, our new dog, neutered. The form used not the bland term "neutering," but rather, "castration." Gulp. There he was, sitting next to me at the vets, panting happily and waiting for more dogs or the vet's fat marmalade cat to saunter in to play with him and admire him. Such a happy, trusting pup. I am the one who feeds him, introduces him to the neighbor dogs, brushes him, talks to him in a tone of voice that irritates my husband, and gives him belly rubs. And now I've consented to have his balls cut off.
Jack asks me why can't Zane be a daddy almost every day. "We could just give the puppies to a breeder," he routinely suggests when I say there are too many unwanted puppies in the world. I minimized his impending surgery and said he would still be he same happy dog (perhaps not on the fateful day itself, Oct. 8, his half birthday). We went on:
J: Well, you're neutered, right?
L: I had my tubes tied after Will was born. I'm not neutered! It's different. Zane is a boy, anyway. He's having his testicles cut off. It sounds bad but it isn't. Sometimes men have vasectomies but that's nothing like having testicles cut off. Centuries ago there used to be castrati who had this done. I don't know why. So they could sing with a really high voice, I guess.
J: I can scream really super high. Want to hear me?
J: OK. What's your point?
L: I don't know. I'm just going on and on about castration for no reason.