Having a Ball

Yet more proof that times are good in America: Your neutered boydog does not have to walk around with an empty scrotum. He can be outfitted with FDA-approved replacement testicles, namely Neuticles. In fact, he can have either of two models. You could go with the Neuticle Originals, which are the rigid polypropylene units; or you could choose the solid-silicone Neuticle Naturals, which have "the feel and texture of a gummy bear," according to their inventor, Greg A. Miller.Now, you may ask yourself: Why in the world would I go to the trouble and expense of getting my dog replacement gonads? Well, I'm just the man to tell you. Boydogs enjoy their gonads. They're all the time doing something with 'em. So don't you know, when a dog wakes up after a trip to the vet and finds his gonads gone, that's got to be a letdown. The dog has to be thinking, Where'd they go? Maybe I buried them. If I can't find them, how will I fill the hours I used to spend playing with them?Neuticles could cure that desperate sense of loss. I don't know about smart dogs like poodles and German shepherds, but I'm pretty sure that really dumb dogs like Basset hounds would be completely fooled by the Neuticles and would treat them just like the original equipment.In case you're wondering, dogs generally get their Neuticles as part of their castration surgery. Out with the old, in with the new. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Dogs have had Neuticles installed successfully up to five years after their original surgery. If you can't decide what to get your neutered dog for Christmas, consider giving him the gift of balls. Neuticle Originals cost about $85 a set, plus the cost of surgery. Neuticle Naturals go for about $170 a set, plus surgery. (See your vet for details. Or call 1-888-NEUTICLES to find a Neuticle-installing vet near you.)You stingy people, listen to me: Go with the Neuticle Naturals. Do not try to save a few lousy bucks and get your boydog a pair of rock-hard replacement balls. Pay the extra money and get him the gummy-bear balls.Neuticles come in five dog sizes. Inevitably, when I tell somebody about Neuticles, they say something like, "Wouldn't it be cool to outfit a dog with some really big ones?" Well, I don't know. That's a question for a qualified veterinarian. I'd guess you wouldn't want to stretch 'em up more than a size or two.If you're so inclined, you can get Neuticles for cats, horses, and bulls as well. (One size fits each species.) And if any of you smart-asses were even thinking about it, I'm sure no reputable vet would put the bull balls on a dog. Put it out of your mind.I don't know why anybody would want to retrofit balls onto a neutered cat, horse, or bull, though. I don't think male cats care about their hindpackage one way or another. I've never noticed 'em paying any particular attention to it. And I don't think horses or bulls can even see back there, let alone touch back there.When it comes to dogs, though, the balls mean something. They mean something to the pet owners too. "Frodo doesn't know anything's missing. Neuticle Naturals are as real as his originals," said pet owner Janell Sausser of San Lorenzo, Calif. I'm glad Ms. Sausser is happy, but really, what does she know about ball reality?Let's see what a man has to say. "My dog came back from the vet looking exactly the same, and this was important to me," said Mike Pyle of Independence, Mo. Hmmm. Just as I suspected. With men, a little anthropoballism comes into play. We'd miss ours, so surely our boydog would miss his.Which puts this awful question in my mind: In case of some terrible accident or disease, are there Neuticles for men? And would insurance pay for 'em? If there aren't any human Neuticle equivalents, could an unfortunate man be outfitted with the horse units, or would he have to settle for the Great Dane package? Sweet Baby Jesus, I hope none of us ever have to find out.Back to more pleasant thoughts. The holidays are creeping up on us. What do you get the man who has everything? Well, let me suggest a ballcap with the Neuticles logo. It's yours for 19 bucks. Or how 'bout a T-shirt with the slogan "Looking and Feeling the Same"? Seventeen bucks. Or my personal favorite: a Neuticles key ring, with actual Neuticles attached; your choice of ball size, S/M/L. It's 19 bucks, or two for $34.For the ladies, they've got the Neuticles necklace. One Neuticle on a "stylish cord." Thirty-six bucks. (Apparently, balls, like shoes, cost more if you happen to be a woman.) Finally, they've got the Neuticles wristwatch, adorned with the same slogan as the T-shirt; 37 bucks, in men's and ladies' styles. Prices include shipping and handling. And wouldn't you know: They take plastic.

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