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We have not one, but three winners in our "If Dogs Could Talk" essay contest.

Third place went to Bob Rollman of Parkton, Md., who kept it short and sweet: "If dogs could talk, we wouldn't need Dr. Phil," he wrote.


Second place went to Anne Madison, of Baltimore, a frequent commenter on these pages who says she considers the blog "a kind of virtual dog park." Madison wrote that her dog Spencer would offer the following advice, if he had the gift of gab: "Our muzzles may turn gray, but we should never be so dignified that we can't enjoy an ear scratch or a tummy rub."

First place went to Mary Schmidt, of Wichita, Kansas, who started reading after hearing of the Mutts blog on National Public Radio. A mutt owner, Schmidt adopted her third, Amie, from a humane society, and says the dog has a remarkable vocabulary of woofs. Here's what Mary wrote:


"If dogs could talk, public cell phone conversations might get more interesting and less annoying.

"If dogs could talk, human languages would acquire more words for smells and tastes.

"If dogs could talk, a lot of employees would be calling home during the day to see what the dog was up to.

"If dogs could talk, they could spill many details about the human lives they observe with such great attention.

"If dogs could talk, their humans could finally learn what happened before the shelter adoption or before the stray was welcomed inside.

"If dogs could talk, I'd finally get proof that my dog is as good of a comedian as I think she is."

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