Dogs make the worst people.
But sometimes people bring out the best in dogs.
When I was growing up, we always had a dog in our family. If I stopped to count, it’s at least a dozen, from Taffy at my birth (an English Cocker Spaniel) to Chauncey (or another Shetland Sheepdog whose name I’ve forgotten) when Dad died in 2008. My late father loved dogs to distraction. If a pet died, two days later he’d run out and get a new one. That dog instantly became his best dog. My favorite dog was a Sheltie my brother creatively named Lassie. She was a thief, a sneak, a beautiful party animal. Dad let her get away with murder, because he loved her.
I’m used to being around dogs; I like dogs a lot. I just don’t own one these days. Feels like too much responsibility. I covered that ground here.
The apartment building next to mine is “dog friendly,” which means the tenants are allowed to own a dog. In my building I’d have to pay extra to even keep a cat. Needless to say, there are a lot of dogs on my block. I don’t mind, and the owners are generally thoughtful about cleaning up after their pooches.
For the most part, dog energy is good energy. I totally get how they can bring health benefits to their owners.
However, there’s one dog in the building next door that is the Saddest Dog on Earth.
I mean, you should hear this dog whine and moan and wail and cry. It’s the most pathetic sound you’ve ever heard. I’m always thinking, “Your owner will be home soon so lay off the Sartre, you sad pupper!”
It must strike pathos into the heart of every human on this block who hears it.
It’s an incessant wail, like a psychic combo meal of pathetic Doggie Burger with extra cheesy sadness and a side order of amygdala fries. “How do you like your lizard brain?” “Rare, please!” If the dog were human, it would be loading the bullets, turning the barrel around, and staring down the pike to eternity. Oh great, here’s Sick Puppy harshing my Sunday mellow and, well, bring on the endless void, taxes, death, and destruction. No, I don’t want your leftover bitter bone, Scooby-Doo!
When Whiny Dog gets into it, I’m always trying to decipher his message. Sometimes it sounds like he’s crying, “Oh why oh why is there Donald J. Trump? He is making the polar bears starve!” Or, “My human smells like delicious trash. I wish he’d give me some. Oh why won’t he give me his trash?” Or, “No one will produce my movie! It’s the true story about a sad dog!” And even, “Oh crap, I’m only a dog! This is terrible.”
It reminds me of Nightwalking, a topic I have trouble writing about chiefly because it’s so unpleasant. But I think it’s timely given “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” And spring, for me at least, is a mixed bag.
I’m doing well, though. In fact, yesterday was a five-freakin’-star day. I wanted to hug everyone I saw.
Total Stargazing moment after hearing Ken Boothe’s cover of “Everything I Own,” and then turning a new friend on to Montaigne. Then I learned Mr. Boothe is still among us, still singing, and I felt even happier.
So, Existentialist Downer Doggie, whine all you want.
It’s your funeral, pal.