I know you think people pay too much attention to animals, often
at the expense of their human relations. But when you spend a lot
of time with animals, it can become a profound connection.
I'm as guilt as the next animal lover. We have two dogs, a
bird, and a pond
full of Koi.)
an area like Venice, there are a lot of dogs and it is a pretty
common sight to see people driving with their dogs
in the car or
having a meeting at an outside cafe while their dog snuggled
at their feet.
Today I wondered if this prevalence might partly
be because driving to connect with friends is so laborious, people
develop their more intimate relationships with animals.
I had a sad experience today with Angela, the dog for whom
I am caring while I am in Venice.
I have been trying to take her with me as many places as possible.
I enjoy her company and this constancy was the stated
preference of Rod, her owner for whom I am house sitting while
he is in Indonesia.
But I can't take her everywhere. Including the salon where
I got my hair cut today. So I left her in the house and was gone
for several hours. As I left the house, I eyed a paper
bag of garbage that almost seemed to wink at me.
It crossed my mind that I should empty the garbage or maybe transfer
it to a larger plastic bag. But I didn't have an appropriate
size and was running late so I let it go.
When I returned home several hours later, Angela was thrilled
to see me, tail wagging, eyes flashing.
And there was garbage strewn all over the floor.
She raced over to me, lay on her back in a position of complete
vulnerability, indicating that she wanted me to rub her belly.
She hasn't done that all week.
As the week has gone on, she has gotten more comfortable and
intimate with me. Asking me to pet her in that way was a major
in our relationship.
But I was so distressed by the strewn garbage that instead
of petting her, I said I was disappointed and started
cleaning up the mess.
Now, I am disappointed in myself.
What was so pressing about cleaning up that I couldn't stop to
pay some attention to her? And how could I possibly be upset
with her for tearing open the garbage? She is a dog. She
is programmed to hunt for food.
Is a feminist as understanding about a guy being programmed
to think about
women in a certain way?)
I started the vacuum cleaner, she got very upset. Understandably.
It was loud and ugly. I should have sent her outside
while I cleaned.
One of our dogs loves the vacuum cleaner and comes to Linda
to get vacuumed.)
I cleaned and had made some dinner, I called her over to try
to mend the widening
fence. She turned her back on
Her feelings were hurt and she had crawled
into her kennel to tend to herself.
I don't blame her. I wish I had a kennel
I might crawl into myself tonight.
Saturday, Feb 18, 2006