January 9th 2007 11:54 am
[ Leave A Comment ]
The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.
Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
The average dog is a nicer person than th e average person.
We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.
Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people,
who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.
I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.
A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.
Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.
-Franklin P. Jones
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise
My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money.
Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come from a grocery with the most amazing haul, chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
-Robert A. Heinlein
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says,
'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'
- Dave Barry
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.
My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.
December 7th 2005 3:22 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
Amongst the sophisticates of the dog world there are almost as many opinions about the hereafter as there are breeds. Many of my fellow publican canines are Muhammadans; for them the sensual promise of a paradise filled with 72 heifers to be chased daily across the fields of the Lord has proven an irresistible lure. To accomplish this admittedly appealing result, they have consigned themselves to a life of regular prayer, casting their pious eyes out across the great Western Sea towards Mecca at proscribed intervals. Alternately Zen Buddhism, with its promise of eternal reincarnation, is another popular purebred creed with many adherents. Indeed, what Chihuahua wouldn’t want to enter into the next life as an Irish Wolfhound, or humble Beagle desire to strut through his next incarnation as a Doberman Pincher? Also, the soothing meditations proscribed by Zen are a balm upon the troubled, turbulent, and passionate inner life which most dogs must cope with daily. When you see a Bloodhound sprawled in front of a comfortable fire, eyes half lidded and tongue contemplatively drooping, you can be sure that he is using the solemn power of meditation to constrain an inner life which can only be compared to that experienced by St. John of the Cross in his indispensable work Dark Night of the Soul. It is Zen, my friends, which keeps proverbial sackcloth away from that noble hound’s breast and the ashes from his brow.
Personally, I have always found that Deism, the creed of our nation’s founding canines, to be the most believable of all the Earth’s religions past or present. The idea that God crafted the world like a perfect frisbee before casting it adrift into the winds of time, to be grasped at by the jaws of fate as it travels towards its eventual end, has some irresistible appeal which I just can’t put a paw on. Call it the romantic in me, but unlike those few who don the studded black leather collar of nihilism to proclaim God’s death, I prefer to look back over my shoulder into history and time to catch a glimpse of Her, chuckit in hand, casting the orb of creation across the pastures of existence. Not dead, simply waiting for some worthy soul to drop the sphere of faith at her feet so that the Universe might begin again, like a lotus blossom springing forth from Vishnu’s naval.
It was with these as well as other weighty matters upon my mind that I woke the servants, who once again had overslept past their appointed starting time. As usual this took some doing; in the end I was forced to jump up and down upon their chests until they managed to drag themselves out of their drearily predictable sloth. Inevitably they moved at a snail’s pace, yawning and moping about while I once again attempted a necessary martial confrontation of the cat infestation which has recently plagued our happy abode. I chased one away from my dining room table, then was forced to face another one blocking the very entrance to the house. Though I posses the superior size the damned thing held its ground and only a surprisingly quick intervention by the servants prevented the two of us from becoming enmeshed in mortal conflict. Sadly, the help seems to have little grasp of the threat which felines pose to our happy household, our city, and, indeed, to the entire nation. Through their backbiting, duplicitous schemes they have long sought to undermine the fabric which our society is woven from. I’ll have to remember to write my political action committee later.
With my predictably none-to-complex breakfast consumed (one day I’ll have to teach the servants to cook), the chauffeur and I departed for our daily constitutional while my manservant skulked off to do.... whatever it is he does during the day. Drink and chase women of easy virtue or some other such useless nonsense I suppose. Weaving our way through the East Bay’s increasingly unnavigable roadways we arrived at Point Isabel, a charming little spot named after that much misunderstood Spanish Queen who was a close personal confidant of Thomas de Torquemada, the oft maligned creator of the Spanish Inquisition. But I digress; having parked our incredibly large vehicle amongst others of its kind (note to self: write political action committee) we began our daily walk amongst the “whose who” of the fashionable Berkeley canine set. An easternly wind ruffled various forms of fur as we began our strut along the sidewalk promenade, mingling with servant and dog alike. Whippets and Clumber Spaniels, German Shepherds and Irish Wolfhounds, Dachshunds and Japanese Chin all conjoined with their dower, indistinguishable attendants in a gestalt-like vision of life, running and playing, talking and scheming, doing all of those things which members of a vibrant, growing culture do. Glorious in a plebeian sort of way.
In the fullness of time I led my chauffeur away from the hoi palloi across the ever- crowded single lane bridge (note to self: letter to county commissioner) which divides the southern, peasant portion of The Point from its aristocratic northern section, where dogs of quality gather for their morning conversations. My retainer muttered something in her ridiculous tongue and wandered off to join her fellows in one of the small clutches they invariably gather into. I’ve never bothered to learn more than a few useful phrases of their language as it is a simplistic, semantically based vernacular undoubtably suited only to the sort of banal, menial labors that consume their tedious days. Canine, on the other hand, is a poet’s language filled with nuance and subtlety, a nomenclature of the soul closest to that primordial speech which the great Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung strove to uncover in his seminal work Symbols of Transformation. Oh, if he had only taken the time to learn to converse with his prize Schiller Hound rather than spending his evenings pouring over the tired pages of the Nag Hammadi Codex, modern psychology might have eliminated the world’s problems by now! Yet once again I digress.
The favored topic of conversation in the “Northern Point” has for some time been the validity of Martin Buber’s controversial I and Thou, which has only recently become available in translation from the original German. It hit the world of canine intellectuals like a bomb, splitting us into more or less into warring existential and essestential camps. Not surprisingly, I didn’t get very far into my first vigorous romp before I stumbled upon a Shar-Pei bitterly arguing with a French Bulldog in a fine display of the basic incompatibility of eastern and western philosophy. After we all paused for the standard introductions and ceremonial marking of territory, they continued with their dispute.
“Look, all Buber is saying is what we Buddhists have said for years,” the Shar-Pei intoned, “that the Divine isn’t a separate entity distinct from the word and man. Rather, divinity is infused through all of material creation, requiring us to have a respectful relationship with even the inanimate objects around us.”
“Nonsense.” the French Bulldog snorted.... or maybe it was an unfortunate nasal accident, ”What you Buddhists want is an excuse to be exempt from divine authority. Like so many today, you are a pack of moral relativists eager to embrace a life of sensuality rather than fulfilling your ethical obligations. Your rebellion against divine authority is simply a justification for your decadent lifestyle.”
I barked in agreement wile the Shar-Pei growled in stern dissension.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” snapped the Shar-Pei, literally “it is the Western Dog’s refusal to see the ‘I’ in ‘Thou’ that has made him the scourge of the world for over half a millennium. When you all come to accept an ethic that doesn’t allow for the use of others, nor consigns them to the role of minor characters in the cheap, paperback novel of one’s life, you will be able to address the divinity which lies within daily experience. Then, and only then, will you find contentment and inner peace.”
The Shar-Pei had actually snarled out his last sentence about “inner peace” in a none-to- peaceful manner, so I decided to interpolate.
“Perhaps,” I interjected helpfully, “material creation is merely a manifestation of divinity and, correspondingly, subject to a set of laws inherent in its construction?”
They both looked at me sourly. Apparently I had ruined a perfectly enjoyable debate, one whose protagonists had intended to continue onwards for quite some time. I lowered my tail, preparing to politely retreat when I suddenly heard an all too familiar voice behind me.
“Ah, if it isn’t Snapadopollus Xavier VonWalterstien the Third.” the voice quipped, “Tell
me, what pound have you escaped from so that we might endure the pleasure of your company today mein freund.”
I bristled and turned to face the author of that obnoxious vocalization.
“Its pronounced VonWalterstein, as you very well know Count Zwergpinscher.” I retorted. The horrible little toy pinscher was even wearing a monocle. “By the way, I read your review of Amelie in the Berkeley Beast; an admirable effort. Once again I salute you for taking a very touching piece of film and, through the power of substandard, vapid prose, savaging it to the point that its target audience probably won’t go within five blocks of the theater. Wasn’t invading their country twice in 30 years bad enough without trying to ruin their film industry?”
Zwergpinscher hissed, twitching his enormous bat-like ears menacingly.
“Perhaps VonWalterstien,“ he growled, “you could favor us with a review of a movie more suited to your taste. Say, for example, Elf?”
There was a murmur of shock from the crowd of plutocratical canines which had assembled around us. The Shar-Pei and the French Bulldog began to slowly back away from the two of us. They knew what was coming, and it wasn’t going to be pretty (note to self: wear fake mustache disguise when going to theater).
“That was both intolerable as well as unforgivable you Teutonic pipsqueak.” I growled, grasping a nearby stick in my jaws. “Prepare yourself for battle Count, for this day you shall taste the wrath of a VonWalterstein!”
Zwergpinscher snapped his legs together in a timeless Germanic salute, then grabbed the other end of the stick. This wouldn’t be our first duel (actually, we had one at least twice a week), and I had come to appreciate him as a tenacious, capable foe. The Count had studied law as a pup at Heidelberg, where stick fighting is a way of life amongst the young and un-neutered. Many a dueling scar crested the muzzle of that tiny nobleman.
Still, I had the advantage in size, weight, and tasteful toy selection. I gripped my end of the stick in my teeth, waiting for him to make the first move in that distinctive, highly ritualized martial art with is stick fighting. The Count began with a traditional fake out, glancing to his left before suddenly throwing the entire weight of his small body to the right. Having fought him many times before I wasn’t fooled; I countered by shoving forward and to the left, hoping to use his own weight against him. Zwergpinscher responded by backing up, adjusting his grip, and running at full speed away from me.
I smiled grimly around the stick which occupied most of my mouth. The Count may be tenacious, but his tiny legs were simply no match for mine in a running duel. Together we charged gloriously across the field toward the long grass like Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai, our tails waving like warrior’s pennants in the wind and a pack of our fellows charging in pursuit at our backs. I was playing with him, slowing myself up so that I could deliver the coup de gras after an enjoyable lap or two, when I suddenly realized my mistake. It was too easy. I glanced nervously this way and that, looking for the trap which I was now certain had to spring, but Zwergpincher’s eyes glowed with a fantastic malevolence, giving nothing away. Growing more concerned by the moment I wildly picked up my pace. I had to get free from the tall grass before The Count sprung his trap!
Then, before any mortal dog could react, a Pekingese sprung from a gopher hole carefully obscured with a cunningly woven grass screen. Drat -- I forgot that Miniature Pinschers were also a hunting breed! The Pekingese threw itself in front of my forepaw, creating an instant speed bump. I tripped at insanely high speed, losing my grip on the stick before crashing face first into the ignominious, humiliating mud of defeat. Then the entire pack trampled me.
Back on the field Zwergpincher did a little I’ve-got-the-stick “happy dance” before laughing loudly and cruelly, shaking his little toy pincher rump at me in mockery. I stood up, miserably covered in mud, only to see my servant rapidly approaching. Uh-oh.
“I’ll get even with you, you pompous cur, if it’s the last thing I do!” I shouted in a valiant attempt to salvage some tiny shred of dignity. This sordid incident was almost certain to lead to even more humiliating one: a trip to the frosty garden hose. I hung my head in shame like Russell Crowe at the last academy awards as The Count, his cursed Pekingese toady, and the rest of the pack walked off, laughing amongst themselves.
Hey, wait, are those snausages?