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Do you have a dog? Is it stupid? Of course it is! That's why we call it a "dog." We're talking about a species whose highest biological priority — higher than eating, finding shelter or protecting its young — is sniffing other dogs in the butt.

If that sounds like your dog, or a dog on your holiday gift list, then you need Brain Games for Dogs. This book is a tremendous training tool. You give your dog a command — any command — and if it fails to obey immediately, you simply strike it with this book.

No! That was a joke! Please do not write angry letters containing misspelled words to the editor. In fact this is an excellent book, filled with helpful information on how to teach your dog many tricks and games, such as Fetch, Push the Door Closed and Balance a Treat. Notice we say "your dog." Our personal dog is not interested in learning any of these things. Our dog's unspoken but clear position is, "I am an old dog, and these are new tricks." Our dog would no more push the door closed than do our income taxes.



Read more Dave Barry Gift Guide stories from the Miami Herald


    You've probably seen the TV commercials for Perfect Polly, the battery-operated pretend parakeet manufactured in China from genuine plastic.


    These are special glasses that use an amazing scientific principle — possibly photosynthesis — to bend light beams at a 90-degree angle. This means that when you put these glasses on, instead of seeing what's in front of you, you're actually looking straight down.


    If you are not putting a brassiere on your hen (or self-mutilating parrot) (which would be a good name for a rock band) you could very well be contributing to its DEATH.

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