Puppy, n. A warm and soft animal handled and enjoyed by people who are
afraid to touch each other.
For an infant, touch is every bit as important a need as food and
protection from the elements, if not moreso. A baby deprived of touch
will, quite literally, wither and die.
If a puppy is taken into some place with a lot of people, there will
be a shower of people wanting to pet it. Part of this is due to how
cute it is, and it must be said that there is nothing which feels
quite like a puppy's fur. At the same time, there is another factor
also at play.
Handling a puppy, purring cat, guinea pig, or some other agreeable
furball, is one of a few situations where social mores are actually
willing to interpret an innocent touch as an innocent touch. There are
allowances made for exceptional circumstances, such as moments of
great sorrow and the handling of young children, but even these are
not entirely steady; it is actually illegal in some states for a
kindergarden teacher to give a student a hug, so fervent is the legal
zeal to avoid sexual misconduct.
Thus, we have embraced the age old style of solving problems, so
greatly concerned with respecting people's space and, as touch rightly
plays a vital role in marital union, avoiding what could possibly be
taken to be unwanted sexual advances, that human contact is deemed
expendable and unnecessary, a frying pan which we must jump out of at
all costs. See also: Pax, Purity, Victorianism, Wealth.
- -- Hayward's Unabridged Dictionary