Man suspects his dog may be Episcopalian

Paul Ryan

Mike Dopples thought it was a bizarre dream at first, perhaps the result of a rogue tuna fish sandwich or the entire bottle of rail whiskey he drank at the bar that night. It wasn’t until it happened a second and third time that he believed it. Like a growing number of Americans, Dopples woke up Sunday morning to find his dog watching an Episcopal sermon on TV.

More than 97 percent of dogs now identify as Episcopalians, a drastic increase from 20 years ago when 100 percent of dogs identified as “socially liberal but fiscally conservative.” Experts believe the openness of the Episcopal sect to all kinds - even dogs - is the cause of the change.

Dopples thought it was a mistake at first. Perhaps his dog had forgotten that Episcopalians are lazy slackers who coast through life with their mouths full of complimentary wafers. Perhaps his dog wasn’t aware that cool things are exclusive, and religions who accept literally anyone probably aren’t very cool. Maybe his damned ungrateful dog had forgotten that Catholicism is the most tedious and guilt-ridden sect of Christianity, and therefore the one most likely to get him into heaven.

Tensions grew quickly. Dopples would get mad at his dog for the usual things - eating food off the kitchen floor, peeing in the microwave, or not growling when a Kardashian appeared on television. He would scold the dog with an angry rage, but in his heart he knew the anger wasn’t about those things.

His dog refused to discuss the matter. No clever arguments or witty retorts like other liberals. Halfway through Dopples’ well rehearsed speech about the benefits of feeling guilty indefinitely, the dog yawned and exited the room, farting loudly on his way out.

“Do you see that?” said Dopples. “Do you see the way he talks to me? I’ll bet that’s some cool slang he learned from other Episcopalians! I just don’t understand anything anymore. Why would my dog want to be governed by bishops? And aren’t Episcopalians big on baptism? My dog hates baths. I’m going to install a nanny cam to make sure he’s not being brainwashed by godless heathens while I’m at work.”

The only solution was for him to train his dog to be Catholic. After four weeks, the results were mixed at best.

“My dog doesn’t speak English, so it’s hard to tell if it’s working,” said Dopples. “Is he still quietly worshipping our lord and savior improperly without me realizing it? Is he doing it right now? Is he quietly accepting gays and lesbians into his religious worldview as we speak? Stop it! Bad dog! Very bad dog! Get in your crate until you have harmless enemies to vanquish!”

A few days ago, Dopples tested his dog by offering him an Episcopalian wafer as a treat. The dog took the bait, immediately devouring the body of Christ and then sitting patiently, as if he were waiting for more. The dog’s true religious views had been confirmed. Granted, the dog also responded this way with Catholic communion wafers, Lutheran wafers, Church of Latter Day Saints wafers, and macaroons licked by Satan. While this may indicate that the dog just gravitates towards food in general - like some kind of Babylonian wafer whore - the taking of that first Episcopalian wafer was all the proof Dopples needed.

This damning proof of Episcopalian infiltration has shattered his home and very way of life. If a pet owner cannot trust that their dog, cat or goldfish shares whatever crappy religion they’ve chosen for themselves, then life itself may be devoid of meaning. The civilized society we hold so dear may merely be an illusion.

“Is it the fucking hats?” Dopples shouted at his dog in frustration. “All forms of Christianity have hats! We just don’t make a big deal out of them! We don’t flaunt our cool hats! If a hat’s the problem, I can get you a damn hat. Ugh, I knew it. It’s the hats. Everybody loves hats. I don’t even know where to shop for a Pope hat.”

His obsession with the issue growing stronger every day, Dopples’ acquaintances are worried about him.

“The problem with Mike is that he’s an idiot,” said Darcy Pannard, who lives next door to Dopples. “You left the TV on, you moron! The dog isn’t watching anything! You always turn on that dumb late night show and then forget to turn it off. Your dog is not consciously aware of religion. He will eat anything he sees, even his own butt stuff. He’s a dog. Get over it, weirdo.”

Dopples remains unconvinced.

“At least now I know why my dog sleeps 14 hours per day,” said Dopples. “He doesn’t have the fleeting guilt of Catholicism keeping him awake. It’s so frustrating. My instincts are demanding that I attack his beliefs, but since he’s a dog and unable to blab about them incessantly, I can’t really argue with him. I just have to quietly accept his faith, as if others are capable of making their own decisions and running their own lives. It’s bullshit.”