1. Either he is scanning the beach for potential mates for his own doggette(†), OR (judging both from his attire and the direction of the telescope) it’s simply a “slice of life” image of a whale watcher (no humor implied, and none inferred).

    P.S. (†) – I didn’t want to use the technically correct term here because of its perjorative character, but in any case, I don’t think this qualifies as “Arlo”, since the potential copulants are canine.

  2. I doubt the subject would be whales. (Despite where he seems to be looking.)

    A little lookup suggests that an observer can often distinguish male and female whales (how and how easily depending on species), by marking patterns and some gross anatomy (like position of dorsal fin). But since there is no practice of neutering whales, there would not be an established term “unneutered male” applied to whales.

  3. I think it’s a combination of Kilby’s two comments. At first glance, it is a ‘slice of life’ image of a whale watcher, then, whoa, wait a second, he’s actually looking for potential mates for his…doggette. The sudden reduction of something as noble and soothing as whale watching to pimping out his…doggette is where the humour is meant to lie.

  4. Except… this is totally no how it works for dogs, but I’m not seeing humor in disregarding reality. Females don’t go looking for males, they just exude pheromones when they are fertile, and all the male dogs from miles around come to the female; it’s scent based, not sight based, and the males are the pursuers, not the females. So if it’s meant to subvert those expectations, it’s way too subtle for me…

  5. And if he is indeed whale watching, I’m no expert but pretty sure he’s not going to see any from the shore.

  6. First, to answer Mark M, we whale watch from the shore every winter here. Can’t say whether you can distinguish sexes from shore, though.

    Now, as to the cartoon; It is Bliss and Steve Martin, so it is going to have a weird take on reality to start with. But here was my interpretation: the guy is a lighthouse attendant, or some other job in a remote site. He is checking out the incoming monthly supply vessel, and one of the requested “supplies” was a companion for his “doggette”. Take it for what it is worth.

  7. Looking through a telescope to be able to see that a dog (from the angle,somewhere out at sea) is male and unneutered and three years old struck me as funny.

  8. That is a weird way to hold a spyglass, isn’t it? Considering the level of detail he is seeing, it sure seem to work, though.

  9. If you mean he’s holding it up to his mouth, yes, that is a weird way to hold a spyglass. Unless it’s some kind of whiskey bottle.

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