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?

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Cloud Dog

18 05 2012

In between clouds, the spring sun shines warmly on the grass of the Pincio today.  Really Is GreenerI took a long walk, stopping to roll here and there, picking up the scent of recent dogs and the color of the grass.FEELING GOOD!!!Prima Roll

Once I paused to look up, legs in the air, snout pointed to the sky, and this is what I saw: a cloud like my dog! ハチ公A Cloud Dog.

If this were ancient Rome, Nero might have seen this and proclaimed either the Day of Dog and we would still be in power, or that every dog be eaten, depending on the clarity of his mind at the moment.  897 Nero Denarius with Reverse Military StandardsI am happy emperors no longer rule.  It is enough to suffer periodic edicts from the Management: “Don’t get on the furniture, get down from the bed, don’t lick the floor”, et cetera.

Though irritating, life must be simpler now, and more predictable.  Dinner usually comes on time, and mornings bring a walk on the Pincio…where I can roll, mindless, on the grass.Argyle enjoying a rollHappiness Is . . .dogs rolling in the grass

Chow.





Snow Dogs

9 02 2012

The Roman snow is mere memory today, but memories are things that sometimes haunt. I smell more flakes on a breeze calling from mountains to the east. I think my Contessa knows it’s on the way, as well. I led the way as she carried heavy bags of critical supplies into our elevator: A new can of tennis balls, 3 special chew toys, a squeaky, fluffy imitation squirrel that smells like a polyester-clad tourist and a large bag of my favorite kibble (organic, duck and pea). These are the perks of a rare “snow-pocolypse”.

Another perk? Slipping our way across the thankfully level Piazza del Popolo and up the steep steps to the winter wonderland of the Pincio. Dogs romping and racing through snow until the ice between their toes begs them to stop; eating snowballs launched by laughing children (who, by the way, sound much like a pack of puppies) and making snow dogs.

 

I crafted three last Monday. Terriers, of course. Used my nose to push and pack and my artistic talent (mother’s side of the family) to sculpt the creatures. If we get more snow, I plan to do a series: Scotties, Rats and Russells.  It didn’t hurt that the Villa Borgese is nearby. Bernini has always been an inspiration.

Apollo and Daphne,

Pluto and Proserpina…

 

…Truth Unveiled by Time.

I was proud of my work. Tail held high and nose in the air all the way home. Alas, today, the work was merely memory under a fifty-degree clear sky and an icy puddle of H2O.

I suppose that I am a bit of a fraud. No Bernini here. Mere dog, save the fact that, though my creation had not the lasting effect of Bernini’s Truth Unveiled by Time, that is, in fact, exactly what happened.

Art mimics life as life mimics art, no?

Chow.





Nevica

4 02 2012

Driving in the big grey car with the butter-soft leather seats and the whole vehicle smalls of truffles. The Contessa holds them in a glass jar full of risotto: A succulent dish that will be served up later with only the truffle scent hinting at the current pleasure those kernels enjoy.

Now, we carry the prize to uncle Giglio in Rome.  He will use the truffles in his famous linguine for one night only. Customers and friends in the know will line up at his trattoria doors promptly at 8:30pm.  We will be there.  I sit in the back seat, nose against the chilly window watching the snow fly, drooling at the idea of the coming meal. Soon the snow will turn to rain as we approach the Tiber valley and the Eternal City. Good thing, I think, for Roma has no plows.

But the snow does not stop by the time we reach the city.  The cobbled streets of Rome have lost their etching. Road-noise is absent. The Ferrari tires glide, no, slip along the icy via. The Count swears under his breath as great glazed domes into view.

Marble statues wear coats of white mink. The umbrella pines on the Pincian hill stand like bas-relief on a slab of ancient glacier.

Effervescent Rome is dampened, the bustling city muffled under a white dome more grand than any other in sight.

The Contessa puts a hand to her mouth as we pass the Pantheon. She whispers as though her words are a secret, “Fermiamo qui.”

The Count pulls over and we quit the car, walking on the silent cushion of snow toward the most beautiful building in Rome. The Contessa pulls me into her fur coat and we enter the vacant Pantheon. There in the center is a miracle: A column of flakes descends from the oculus as a alabaster pillar and I wonder if this is the way the marble columns of Rome were created.  At it’s base the marble floor is blanketed in a perfect round of white, pedestal to the heavenly pillar.

All things a dog sees are miraculous.  This is the way of a dog. Every day is new and all things possible.

Even “nevica” in Rome and ancient pillars made from snow.

Chow.





I Confess

23 06 2011

I confess, I know a bit about adultery.  My master has a little something on the side (see the “about” page on this blog).  He’s Latin, Italian to be exact, and he’s a man.  Two and two often make three: The infidel, the mistress and the wife. Reference: Silvio Berlusconi (well, in his case the sum may have been more than three.)

I can identify with straying, though I firmly believe infidelity should include no more than a cursory bark and sniff. This, by the way, does not employ tweeting, emailing or texting but the use of the eyes, the nose and the voice-box only.

Fortunately, most Latin males who stray may gain easy absolution via Catholic confession. This satisfies not only the priest’s appreciation for a bawdy story but the offender’s guilt, as well.

Would that it were so easy.

Absolution is more difficult to gain at home, I’ve found.  It is not always true that is is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Thankfully, dogs are speechless.  Otherwise, we would perpetually be in the confessional, let alone the dog-house.

Given the propensity for adultery among Latins, one wonders why the church hasn’t gone automated WAY before now:

Note to self: Enunciation is important—in any language.

Chow.





God and Dog

12 10 2009

Now, HERE’S a human who “gets” dogs.

It really IS this simple.

Chow.





Please Read

10 10 2009

If you are an owner of a dog that belongs to a ‘dangerous breed’
category and you also have a child or a visiting small child please
take this as a warning.

Don’t leave your dog with a small child unattended under any
circumstances!!!

Only one little moment was enough for the following to
happen:

Chow.








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