To Be or Not to Be: Doggish

1 11 2013

When it comes to philosophy, dogs have it boiled down to four points. Like Bernini’s Four Rivers fountain in Piazza Navona, this wisdom flows into every dog.

Man would do well to ride its waters, as well…Image

These few noble constants by which all dogs live are inborn. Every dog shares them, be they domesticated, feral, or ridiculous as I like to think of the curs on the Pincio.

First, dogs never let their past define them, and neither do they take life seriously. Every day is a new day for a dog; a new, exciting, anything-is-possible day. Any human can see that all dogs enjoy the charm of novelty.Image

Second, a dog’s heart is easily won and difficult to break. And though pride may be the downfall of many creatures, understanding their own fallibility makes dogs loyal to even the worst sort of human being. As a result dogs have learned that it is a far braver thing to stay in a disagreeable situation, helping dispel the misery of man, than to leave it. That is the charge of man’s companion. Dogs value bravery above all else; its degree, the measure of every dog. It is the noblest of canine virtues.homeless_sleeping_dog

Third, dogs are philanthropists. They never pass up an opportunity to give. A pact was made in the early days of their ancestors. Hunting expertise for a share of man’s kill. That reciprocity continues today, but now lies in the pleasure and benefits exchanged between human and dog. It’s innate. An affectionate thresh, an endearing lick, a fond sniff about the crotch: these are all traded for room and board. One gets what one gives.4d6b1c7d73228.hires_t540

Finally, dogs never pass up the opportunity to have fun. It is the very heart of every living spirit; the essence of every dog. It encourages strong bonds and deep affection. If there is no pleasure, there is no life. This is the simple and abiding truth of existence.

 It all comes down to looking at life with a kind eye, no?

It Gives One Paws

6 02 2013

The moment you realize your dog eats better than you do.

The moment you realize that you have 987 photos on your phone and 985 of them are of your dog.

The moment you realize that you gave up your weekly manicures so you could afford to have your dog groomed once a month.

The moment you realize that the passenger seat of your car is covered with a plush lambskin pad and you are sitting on vinyl.

The moment you find yourself reaching for dog treats instead of chocolate at the checkout stand.

The moment you decide to go gray instead of giving up the expense of doggy daycare.

The moment you stop staying at ritzy hotels and start looking for pet friendly resorts.

The moment you cancel a dinner date because you’re sick and yet bundle up a fever for the dog park in a blizzard.

The moment you spend more money on a pet cemetery plot than you spent on cremating your mother.

The moment you realize your dog knows more about you than anyone else you know, and will never tell a soul.

The moment you realize your dog will never love you less for anything stupid you do, will wag in any weather, protect you from any foe, and look more deeply into your eyes than any lover, especially when looking at you for that last time.

It gives one paws…er, pause.



World Peace

8 11 2012

It can be said that Domesticated Dog lives a somewhat peaceful life:




the faux-hunt of squirrels and other ground game; eat, sleep, play; repeat.

Whether it is the life of the entitled or the entitled life makes no difference. It is, as they say, what it is. Bliss.

Chaos may reign on the other side of the fence. Interesting, of course, but in the end nothing more than the distraction it provides.

I become a better Dog for whatever happens, whether it is because I have learned something new (squirrels can’t outrun a shotgun), witnessed the tragic (Dog flattened by a car), or something glorious (bitch across the street in heat). It’s all chalked up to the physical experience of being canine.  Acceptance of what is and an understanding that, in any given moment, what is can be marvelous given how it’s processed.

1) If squirrels can’t outrun a shotgun, neither can a dog.

2) Beware of cars.

3) Life is FULL of possibilities.

Humans seem to make themselves unhappy by refusing to accept life as it is; to understand that every incident is a gift, an opportunity to become. To simply feel wisdom, compassion, patience or courage is the beginning of the journey to become it.

This is easy for the canine. We are born being and we remember this. Humans are quick to forget.

I am Dog. I am wisdom. I am compassion. I am patience. I am courage. And I am at peace with what happens on the other side of the fence…or the world. The barking you hear is not alarm but acknowledgment.

Dogs have come to know that world peace doesn’t mean that the world is at peace. It means that you are at peace with the world.


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