It’s All About You!
Every once in awhile, my author is faced with a complement like “I really love reading your dog stories!” He shrugs and gratefully acknowledges the compliment, but he wonders how many people realize that my stories are not about dogs; they are really about you.
As a dog, all I do is hold a lens up to the world around me and capture the “wonders of you.” No spin, hopefully little bias, just the facts. After all, you don’t invent and rehearse the parts that you play when you are around me. I am like the furniture; just another dog observing you — at being yourself. And, from what a vantage point!
For most of us dogs, a day in our life is pretty much like a thousand other days, unless Isabel finds gold or a major accident occurs out in front of the Inn. Pretty boring, actually; sunrise — sunset; same old — same old. Three cups of (Senior Blend) Purina Chow, and, every so often, a little treat (taken from an unsuspecting toddler or little old lady). Many times its just the expectation of that little treat that distinguishes our day.
But, here at the Inn, where folks from all nationalities and all walks of life pass by constantly, dogs and humankind alike can’t help but be engaged. And I get to witness my human counterparts as they relax and have fun.
Last week, one of our readers wrote in and said that he had never realized that I was eleven years old. That’s 77 in human years if you happen to be counting. He went on to explain that he had always thought that I was a lot younger mutt, based on my progressive outlook. I believe, in my case, that staying fully engaged is the key to everlasting youth even though doggy exema, canine arthritis, and bull mastiff-quality flatulence are taking their toll on my body. Believe me, it ain’t easy being a 77 year-old Labrador Retriever!
A vacation at Faded Glory Farm is, for many of you, like a withdrawal from direct day-to-day engagement; and during that withdrawal, many of you open up and engage in the genuine, playful, fun loving, unfettered behavior that characterizes the REAL you. This spontanaeity is what I enjoy seeing at the Inn. Judges, clergymen, teachers (and even some politicians), and other arbiters of good behavior remove all barriers and really get to “engage” while they are here at Faded Glory.
As an onlooker, I have come to the conclusion that you humans get “old” when you lose your desire to engage, your ability to play, and your short-term hope. It really doesn’t seem to depend on your toning or physical condition, its all in your head. I think that it’s really these “cerebral miracles” that keep us going.
Dogs and men, in my opinion, are born with and perpetuate two underlying motivations: food and sex; and additionally, most of us are indeed, “legends in our own minds.” Unfortunate, but true. Thus, many male visitors at the Inn bring with them an agenda. As I see it, as men age, their agendas shift, and they begin to see more value in the entrees and aperitifs than intimate moments in our comfortable suites. Louella’s bountiful kitchen creations save the day often. In addition, I am told that the Midnight Buffets on many cruise lines cater successfully to older men. Any ideas why?
Dogs are not dumb, but they are certainly very predictable and somewhat unimaginative. Domesticated dogs are prone to oft-repeated rituals and habits even though most of their core instinct has been bred out of them; or, just maybe — inbred into them. Humans, on the other hand, with all of their curiosity and intelligence, have all they can manage to stay within the constraints of their own culture; thus many of our human visitors are full of surprises. They are fun to observe, most eager to engage, and totally available to dogs like myself.
I guess that the reason I like to observe you is that you are the species that has it all. You have the gifts of wisdom, humor, human speech, opposable thumbs, freedom of choice, and yes, even some of you can pee sitting down! And yet, with all of these God-given gifts, you manage to create situations and bring on problems with global consequences that most dogs (or other creatures, for that matter) would never think possible. I sometimes wonder if man invented the television so that he could quickly receive his own bad news.
Be serious, just like dogs, you humans DO possess the capability of giving unconditional love.
A famous author once said, “everybody likes a dog story.” He was probably right. Dog stories are admittedly a lot more boring, but they sure are a lot less stressful!