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by Bill Tope

"What is it, Doc? What's the matter with Bluto?" asked the little man anxiously, standing before the examination table in the local veterinary.  Bluto sat upon the table, wagging his little tail. 

"Well, Mr. Skinner," replied Dr. Mittlemann, "I'm afraid it's worse than we suspected:  it's rabbis."

Skinner blinked in disbelief. "Rabbis?" he repeated incredulously.  "I can't believe what I'm hearing. Where in the world would Bluto contract rabbis?"

"Rabbis are virtually everywhere in nature; they're in raccoons, foxes, even bats.  Mr. Skinner, you find a forest, and you'll find rabbis."

"But, Bluto's an inside dog," protested the pet owner. 

The vet shook his head. "Doesn't matter.  It happens; it's what religious persons would call a miracle," asserted the doctor.

Skinner raised his hands, dropped them back helplessly to his sides. "Rabbis aren't always fatal, are they?"  His words were laced with desperation. 

Mittlemann took a seat on the edge of the exam table. “Usually only in German Shepherds.  Luckily, old Bluto here is a hardy Canaan Dog!” He gave the animal a vigorous muzzle rub.

“Isn’t there anything we can do?” asked Skinner.

"There are measures we can take; we could try a canine pogrom, of course."

Skinner shook his head.  “I don’t know, i wouldn’t want to get into trouble with the authorities, you know....”

“You mean the ASPCA or the AKC—the American Kennel Club?” asked the doctor.

Skinner shook his head no again.  “No! Forget the AKC; what about the ADL--the Anti-defamation League?”

The two men regarded one another for a long moment, Skinner pensive and the vet swinging his glasses reflectively by an earpiece.  Finally the former spoke:  “How long do I have to make a decision, Doc?”  Mittlemann gazed at the calendar on the wall.

“You’ve got eight days from today, Mr. Skinner. Till the end of Passover.”