Some People’s Children…

A long time ago I had the idea that one should always smile at babies and dogs, because whatever the hell’s going on around them, they didn’t ask for it.
I’ve since grown more suspicious of babies, but I still see dogs as scruffy little pawns forced to sit at the right hand of humanity, and so deserving of our smiles (if not our bones!)

I spend a lot of time looking at people and their dogs. I enjoy their dogs immensely—from afar—and I try to acquire some token level of satisfaction that the dog’s person is suitable. I do my best not to weird people out by seeming overly taken with their little fur-ward, and I usually throw in a reassuring smile to the owner to acknowledge their presence in a way that acknowledges our both being the ‘humans in the room,’ as it were.

These dog-watchings most commonly take place as I am sitting in the window of my surrogate parlor, Goldhahn und Sampson. While the unedited panorama of neighborhood dogs and their walkers is a recognized perk of sitting in such a large window, the view goes both ways. Occasionally my smiles and loving stares are taken by the dog-walker to be directed at them—an unfortunate, if not entirely surprising, event. When such awkwardness occurs, I have my Catholic upbringing to keep me warm and I draw upon all the reservoirs of demure smiles, downcast eyes and—most crucially—tightly-drawn knees that the catechism has to offer. Ultimately though it will be the dog who saves me, as it is usually by this point well on it’s way to licking the face off of a small child and the owner must rush off to save the rest, as it were.

What troubles me more than such misunderstandings (which could, in the worst case scenario, be put off roundly with the simple phrase ‘It’s not you, it’s your dog…’) is when the human seems unworthy of the dog.

Yes, when the human is a slobbering, swearing, hateful mass of humanity, then I fear for the creature that must go home with it and live in the cold presence of a numbskull. I take comfort only in the thought that the dog, in their dogged way, loves their person in spite of their faults and maybe even in ignorance of them too.

Occasionally the dog can bring a sort of redemption to it’s person; bringing out qualities in them that they find hard to share with other humans. To witness this kind of love is truly special–indeed, the dog that humanizes the man doesn’t need my help….all the same I’ll be there to cheer him on if he decides to take a bite out of the S.O.B anyway!

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

2 Comments on “Some People’s Children…”

  1. slt Says:

    Alphonse Toussenel (whoever he is!) would agree with you. He said, “The more one gets to know of men, the more one values dogs.”

  2. Deirdre Says:

    Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
    – Alexander Pope

    Of course, this is not a comment on our friendship, but something I read earlier today. I think of dogs no more than once a week, so it seemed coincidental.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: