Sunday, November 25, 2007

I love my dog

Ok, I know, how totally provincial of me to write about my mutt. How many bloggers have done this, I fear to ask. It's like the novice photographer shooting her cat, over and over again, in cuter and cuter poses.

But my dog, now, MY dog, IS special. Everyone says so. My dog has inspired other people to go to the pound and rescue a puppy, overcome their fear of god (I mean dog) even to receive Darshan from him (Sanskrit for having an experience of God.)

People have sung lullabies to my dog. When he was a puppy he literally stopped traffic. I’ll never forget the first time someone didn’t give him the attention he’d grown accustomed to. He got very still and watched this person walk down the street and around the corner, then looked up at me, mystified.

Of course, he is spoiled. But he’s got enough of the working dog breed in him (border collie, terrier) that he still takes responsibility, patrolling the perimeter of our space always, wherever he goes. He smiles, showing his pretty front teeth. He is conscious of children and older people, treating them gently. If he knows and loves you, you can be assured of a very warm and vocal greeting each time you meet.

Living in Big Sur, also known as "dog paradise" something happens to dog owners, primarily because we are providing a utopia for our dogs. No fences, no leashes, no gates, run around all day long and guard the property from...ok, well, mountain lions (hey, there's a price for everything.)

Until I was in my late 20s, dogs terrified me. A barking dog put panic in my belly. As a small fearless child, I’d played with a dog on the street, who bit me. I still have the scars on the soft part of my right arm. Since, as they say, parenting was not a verb in that decade (or the following one, come to think of it) my fear of dogs was not “addressed.” Nowadays there's help.

Then I met Cacia, a black Lab, Chesapeake Bay retriever mix who was dearly loved by a man I dearly loved. She became my friend, with no prompting from me at all. It was cool to be with her, and my heart opened in understanding. When dogs bark, look, they also wag their tails. Maybe they’re saying,”Hi there! Sorry but I just gotta make this scary sound until I know you’re ok to play with.”

Toby, my husband, chose our dog, Kipling, and gave him to me as surprise. He walked around the corner of our office holding this tiny creature in his arms, handed him to me and said, "it's a little boy." I felt like I was standing outside the delivery room. Toby chooses well with his heart.

A dog is your ambassador, your champion, your love-object, your canine alter-ego. A person with a dog is less threatening than one without.

Have you ever had a long chat with someone about their cute dog, what breed, how he reminds you of another dog and so on but not made any personal contact with the dog’s owner? It’s funny, and among dog owners, accepted. It’s not love me, love my dog (though that does apply to overnight visits with my dog in tow) but really, love my dog, never mind about me, I just buy the dog food.

A tongue we all know and love.

Ready for action.


Anonymous said...

This is beautifully written and movingly told, Linda. I think it's wonderful that you started this blog.

Linda Sonrisa said...

Dearest Richard,
I'm thinking you have something...more... to say about your special relationship with Kippy...please, use this forum to do some catharsis and HEALING. Remember, it's not your fault, it's not like you smeared yourself with wet dog food, or something. C'mon, go ahead and share with us, you're safe here, my dear.
Love always,

Anonymous said...

about Kipling: I must agree, he is special, and so I'll share a story of my own.
I'll never forget the time that, while sleeping in my tent one night while visiting you and Toby, Kippy stopped by to say hello. There was a cool breeze in the air, and I'd been sleeping quite comfortably. That sense of comfort was heightened when suddenly I felt Kippy licking my toes. Soon, however, Kippy's gentle expression of love was replaced by overt erotic aggression. Moments later, he had mounted my leg and, almost in choke-hold fashion, had begun to pump my thigh vigorously. Suddenly, all went dark---I must've blacked out. I would guess---judging by the position of the moon when i came to---that about 20 minutes had passed before kippy wandered away. Bewildered, lonely, and insecure, I was left there all alone, wondering what could've been.
"Why did that just happen?" I recall saying to myself. "Hell, why did it have to end!" I thought. Contemplating it all a bit more as the sun came up, i remembered how Toby had been watching Brokeback Mountain repeatedly, day and night all that week. The film, which must've resonated with little Kip, who was no doubt nearby the television during at least a few of those 30 or so screenings. Anyway, I like to think that, on that particular night, under the light of a full moon, Kipling and I---man and man's best friend---forged a real "connection."