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At this time of year, many children will be given dogs as Christmas presents. As a timely warning, please choose your dog's name carefully, so you don't end up like my friend. This is his story...

Everybody who has a dog calls him "Rover" or "Roy." I call mine "Sex." He's a great pal but he has caused me a great deal of embarrassment.

When I went to the city hall to renew his dog license, I told the clerk I would like a license for Sex. He said, "I'd like one too." Then I said, "But this is a dog." He said he didn't care what she looked like. Then I said, "You don't understand, I've had Sex since I was 9 years old." He winked and said, "You must have been quite a kid."

When I got married and went on my honeymoon, I took the dog with me. I told the motel clerk that I wanted a room for my wife and me and a special room for Sex.

He said, "You don't need a special room. As long as you pay your bill we don't care what you do." I said, "Look, you don't seem to understand, Sex keeps me awake at night." The clerk said, "Funny--I have the same problem."

One day I entered Sex in a contest, but before the competition began the dog ran away. Another contestant asked me why I was just standing there, looking disappointed. I told him I had planned to have Sex in the contest. He told me I should have sold my own tickets. "But you don't understand," I said, "I had hoped to have Sex on TV." He said, "Now that cable is all over the place it's no big deal anymore."

When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for custody of the dog. I said, "Your honor, I had Sex before I was married." The judge said, "The courtroom isn't a confessional. Stick to the case, please."

Then I told him that after I was married, Sex left me. He said, "Me, too."

Last night Sex ran off again. I spent hours looking around town for him. A cop came over to me and asked, "What are you doing in this alley at 4 o'clock in the morning?" I told him that I was looking for Sex.

My case comes up Friday.