Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Tail of Two Cities

The way I see it there are two types of doggies in this world. There are the ones, like mine, who spend their days lounging on the sofa, between two perfectly plumped pillows, cold water dish at the ready, wee-wee pad at the back door just in case Nature calls before the humans get home. They have a wardrobe closet complete with woolen jackets for inclement weather walks. These are the upper-crust canines, the pampered pooches.
Then there's the kind that kick it outdoors most days, trapped behind a gate, digging in the dirt for amusement and seeking out a splotch of decent shade when the midday sun blares harshly from above, an awning when the gray skies let loose. I affectionately refer to these as the every-dog, average Joe-junkyard variety.
Both are born equal. Yet where they end up is anybody's ball game. I'm beginning to wonder if there's a class distinction between these doggies. Maybe not so much upper and lower. Maybe in a dog's world it's more like Inner Class and Outer Class.
I was taking my pup for a stroll yesterday when we trotted past an average Joe-junkyard, his nose wedged inside the fence grating as he sniffed us out, deciding quickly that he'd better bark to keep us back. Pampered Pooch barked a greeting in return. If I were to translate, I believe the conversation actually went something like this:
AJJ: Hey pal, nice sweater. Your human knit that for ya? (snicker)
PP: Nice yard. How's that cement bed treating you?
In reality perhaps the greatest thing about dogs is that they have no frame of reference, no prejudice. Upper, lower, inner, outer, its all the same to them. Reminds me of one of my fave quotes on the subject:

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human.  The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.  ~Edward Hoagland


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