Tuesday, February 8, 2011

peaceable kingdom

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) humorist, writer & lecturer

today I relinquished my 'grandpup' dixie back to the loving arms of my daughter em, dixie's human. em took a little vacation and while she was visiting friends in the pacific northwest f and I had the pleasure of dog sitting.

many people view themselves as either dog people or cat people - in all honesty up until 6 years ago - when dixie entered the family- I always considered myself a true blue cat person. that isn't to say I didn't like or appreciate dogs - I did! however, with the exception of sam, the dog my family had until I was five, I never shared my life with a dog; furthermore, as a self proclaimed cat person, I couldn't even imagine sharing my life with a dog.

some of the lines on the tape that ran in my head when the idea of having of dog came up included: "dogs are so needy, they aren't like cats" "dogs are so much work, they need to be walked and their elimination habits are so cumbersome - not to mention, one can't just put out a bowl of water and dry food and go off for a weekend"

then everything changed when em adopted dixie. now when the imaginary tape in my head starts playing, I have an argument for every objection:
  • dogs are so needy: hey, why should dogs be any different than people or any other sentient being? and really every cat owner (or rather, person owned by a cat) will admit that cats too are needy- and the more one showers love and affection on a cat, the more the cat will be loving and affection back. if love isn't a need than nothing is!
  • dogs have to be walked: well, true - but there are sooooo many benefits to this requirement the whole walking thing is really a non-issue! most of us humans would be so much healthier, happier, not to mention thinner, if we embraced the notion that we required a daily walk!
  • elimination habits are cumbersome: okay, I haven't really come up with a positive spin on this; but really is picking up dog poop that difficult?
  • okay, yes one can't just put out a bowl of water and dry food go away ; but there are so many options: friends, family, neighbors, kennels, doggie spas - jeepers in this day and age taking care of people's pets is a major industry! and just think if a dog is half as sweet as dixie, going away is really making somebody else a happy camper!
now, there are times I daydream about having a dog in the house. someday yes, tomorrow probably not. but I'm definitely open to the idea - now I'm a self proclaimed "animal person" where the best house would be a "peaceable kingdom" with cats, dogs, and all sorts of other critters!

speaking of peaceable kingdoms, check out this vid of gregory pike, a fellow who wanders around the country with his dog, cat and rat?

patti smith's poetic and sweet peaceable kingdom (2004)

photo: dixie looking lovingly at me - in addition to dixie, I also had use of em's car while she was away. this was a double pleasure -one day dixie was my companion on a photo safari where we went out capturing some wall art of greater cleveland! 4 february 2010


California Girl said...

wonderful expressive photo of the dog. she looks so sweet.

I have said many of the same things about dogs & cats. In fact, I think I've said all of them. But, I love them alot. We've had so many dogs and cats over the years, always unwanted or given up or from the pound. All special.

nice post.

karen said...

We seem to be on the same wave length...with Patti Smith in mind. Love this video. Did you read her book titled Just Kids?
Dixie is adorable. Just look at that sweet face...you can't help but be a dog person. Dog, cats, rats...we've had 'em all at this house...and learned so much from our angel pets.
Sweet post...and you're a great mom for pup sitting!

Alan Burnett said...

I know the road you are travelling on, I traveled on it myself eight or nine years ago. Had no great objection to dogs but the problems always seemed to outweigh the potential benefits. Then Amy came into our lives - and the only road I walk down now is the road I walk with Amy.

Roy said...

Dixie looks pleased to be out riding around. And it's always great to hear Patti again. Thanks!

Watson said...

May you soon be united with "the" dog for you!