Thursday, September 05, 2013

After a busy day, he’s managing an entire parody while fast asleep. He’s dog-tired. I’d have to poke him awake to get him to sneer at the joke.
            Should you wish to understand the world in terms of types, however, the dog is interesting. That vain mutt is an English Pointer. What’s more, he is, reportedly, a “vanishing breed”. Still more, he has only one instinctive trick: he points.
            He was born below the border, in Northumberland. He crosses that line all the time. He is very fond of those people and those places. But let him run impatiently on the sand and turf he knows as his own: something thrills him. Then you see a rollicking animal complete in his landscape.
            More metaphors, then? Why not? The dog has an unvarying sense of self and place. He has a fixed idea of home. Take him away and he’s happy enough. He has lots of fun. Bring him back, though, and he points always at his patch of the planet.
            It would be a mistake to draw anthropomorphic lessons from the household deity. It would be an equivalent mistake to believe a word from a Secretary of State for Scotland, poor rescue beast. The third mistake would be to understand yourself only in terms of place and chance.
            But I am where I am. You choose and are chosen. When the dog points into the wind, I know he is smarter than I am. When you become attached to a place, ideas follow, then emotions. These things about our lives should not be denied, or venerated. But hell, he’s awake.
            “Do you think you could leave off the licking for once? I’m in the middle of something.”

            Dog says: “What? Them? They’ve had their parts licked often enough.”