"It's a zen question," said holiday creator Thomas Roy of Lebanon, Pa. "I think anyone who owns a dog or a cat, or any other kind of pet, when it comes to getting a beer, would like to be able to say, 'Go get me a beer.'"
According to Roy, a screen actor and former radio show host, people aren't supposed to actually do anything on March 3. It's all about contemplation of canine and feline evolution, as well as, perhaps, taking a frank look at your pet's capacity for metaphysical thinking.
Of cats, he added, "A cat's basic question, inevitably, is, 'What's on the the other side of the door?'"
While cats with thumbs would open those doors and keep on going, dogs, he suggested, would likely cement their status as "man's best friend," becoming -- apologies to Paris Hilton -- man's BFF. Aside from shagging beers, for example, Fido would be able to play catch instead of fetch and give a proper handshake when asked.
Of course, this is all thinking optimistically. There would be -- oh, yes -- drawbacks to dogs and cats having opposable thumbs, too.
"With Ralph, we would have had to have put locks on the refrigerator," Roy said. "In fact, we would have had to put the refrigerator out in the garage."
First, there would be no place to hide catnip.
"And because a cat's fundamental question is 'What's on the other side of the door?'" he added, "you'd hear all these damn doors opening and shutting all day long."
Recently, Jimmy the Cat, otherwise known as "The Fonzie Feline," became a YouTube star. The pussy is a polydactyl, giving him an extra toe. As a result, he can give the audience the patented thumbs-up gesture made famous by the super-cool Henry Winkler character on the 1970s TV show, "Happy Days."
Though Roy lacks any formal training in animal behavior, at least one professional pet trainer agrees with his take on life with evolved pets.
"If dogs had opposable thumbs, we could actually use that to our advantage," said Joan Mayer, a certified pet trainer in Ventura, Calif. "Maybe we could get them to carry our laundry or be our designated drivers."
Mayer, who co-authors a blog with her Chihuahua Poncho (the pooch taps a few keys each day), predicted, however, that humans would also have to put up with a certain amount of juvenile behavior.
"I could see dogs picking up markers left around the house and writing on the walls," she said.
While it's assumed that dogs would delight in having thumbs, Debbie Saunders, a canine physiotherapist, believes that many dogs would be better off without them.
"Years have been spent studying the dynamics and mechanics of canine gait and movement," she said. "It would alter their movements as quadrupeds and change their structure. Different breeds would be affected more than others."
And so, it would seem, some dogs would be content just to play fetch.
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