O ye Whales, and all that move in the Waters, bless ye the Lord: / praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Fowls of the Air, bless ye the Lord: / praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Beasts and Cattle, bless ye the Lord: / praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Children of Men, bless ye the Lord: / praise him, and magnify him for ever.
~ ITEM: FEELING MORAL, by J. Budziszewski
~ ITEM: How Dogs Learn, How Dogs Think
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~ TRUTH BE TOLD, I do love ma wee doggie, Wee Wallace*. But, he’s a dog.
A creature of God, undoubtedly; a great companion; a funny little social being in his own way; a tiny wolf living in my home, who has literally saved my life. In 2009 when we got him (at the clamour of suddenly dog-loving twin Binklings), I’d been largely couch-bound for 6 years. Then, walkies.
Still and all, he’s a dog— nothing more, and nothing less. Not a human; not a fur-child (both options are lazy and wrong-headed and sentimental); not superior in the order of being; unlike my wife or kids, if he gets super-expensively sick, it’s the needle, not the bankloan. Treating him doggily is fair & proper– it is reality, not the often confusing mirage of feelings by which I seek to know him — then, all the feelings may follow the reality of his awesome little life as it really is.
Pitchforks & Torches!
Go ahead– I’m horrid, heartless, ungrateful, crool, I don’t deserve him, blah blah blah. Well, nature is not constructed according to my human feelings, possible confusions, or popular misunderstandings. He’s a dog– so I should doggedly learn about him, doggy nature, doggy social life, general dogginess.
If I mistreat him as if he were a little child, or member of the family with an equal say, he– being a wolfish critter, i.e. dog– will assume that he’s the Alpha or Alpha-Beta in the ‘pack’, with serious doggie wolf-pack social duties including endlessly giving orders, bossing people around, getting food ahead of others, yapping and nipping and biting to get his orders obeyed, and much more.
That’s what happens with dogs, especially the small yappy nippy surly and demanding ones. Their humans have done them the huge and, to the actual pooches, confusing injustice of not letting them know their place, so they can operate happily there. We often treat our kids & young people the same way: unreal lack of limits or rules or place in the family life.
Pity Thy Neighbour
There’s a nice man up the street who has one of these miserably confused beasts: part Bichon Frise, part Shih Tzu. I call her a Sh*tty-Frise.
He met me the other day walking his Precious Little Darling, who (of course) ignores Wee Wallace because he’s just a hairy smelly little DOG (whereas she, it seems, is a three or four year old human of some sort). Surreal.
“I was just out for a short walk”, says he, “but she decided different.” So, he continues to describe a nearly two mile trek he was dragged along, because the dog (clearly the boss in the relationship) decided the hairless monkey was going to follow her as long as she felt inclined to walk wherever she wanted. Alpha-dog attitude.
I said to the Missus after: it’s.. a.. Jeezly DOG!! Or, in our day, a cat, or-a-whatever pet. I’m the Alpha, Missus is the Alpha-Beta (dogs are not feminists, obviously), Wee Wallace is a whatever comes next down the line. NOT a fur-child. We did not ‘adopt’ him. D.O.G.
It is part of our insanity, malaise, and confusion in this age that we have many many laws against cruelty to animals, but (in Canada, say) none regarding our own pre-born offspring. We have astonishing medical advances in doggy chemo & doggy radiation treatment and doggy medicines– and yet cannot be honest with actual women about the horrid effects of birth control, of abortion, and endlessly delaying childbearing. We will sentimentally treat little fluffikins like a human, a surrogate child, a full ‘member of the family’, and do not feel horror at the encroaching culture of death & medicalized murder called euthanasia, threatening the sick, the suffering, the imperfect, the elderly.
He’s a dog. No more, and certainly no less. ~
Saith Teh Binks
* Following on my family habit, Wee Wallace has endless odd nick-names, not including ‘Nick’. He responds to most of the following: Wall, Wally, Walbert, Woglet, Wally Magoo, Weebles, Wobbles, Wobs, Woggitt, Dancin’ Dave, Dingus, Stink, Fungus, Craphound, Dog, Beast, Poodle, Killer, Wee Doggins, Destructor, Puppy, Pupper. Pupper-Doo, Pooch, Football, Evil Dog, Dementor, and Crazy-Bob. The latter two are for when he ferociously digs in his blankets as if tunnelling to the centre of the earth, or when he repeatedly races up and down the hallway as fast as mini-poodlishly possible.