Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Theo's World

A dog's life is unbearably tragic.

The dog didn't know why he had become separated from his first pack. They seemed to have simply wandered off and lost their way without the aid of his keen tracking abilities.

Humans are kind of stupid that way.

He didn't think about them all that much anymore- dogs live almost entirely in the present - but foremost in his mind was always the intrinsic understanding that a pack containing humans was a fragile and delicate thing. Humans need nearly constant guarding and protection. They have a poor sense of direction and become lost without canine companionship. And they blunder through life heedless of the constant danger surrounding them. He knows he isn't alpha dog material. But at least he isn't an omega dog (he has successfully proven his superiority to several recalcitrant water bottles who now accept that their place in the pack hierarchy is firmly below his). And his duty is to his pack and he knows he will never let down his pack again. Ever.

The alpha male is a terrible hunter. He leaves the house every morning, all alone despite the dog's daily protests that the world is a dangerous place. Thus far, he has returned every evening, safe and sound.  But the dog knows that each day his alpha is taking a terrible risk.  And the day may come when he is abducted by a school bus, set upon by bloodthirsty deer, sniffed at by *other dogs*, or any one of a thousand other threats the dog cannot even imagine. Even though he appears to be an adept tracker and fighter, the alpha rarely manages to find food. The dog has never been able to understand that.  Theres a woods outback teeming with chipmunks, squirrels, and birds. If ONLY the alpha male would take him along on his daily hunting trips. He's CERTAIN he could catch increase their food stores.

 "The Agony of Resignation" Digital Photograph by Julie Courtwright - October 2013

The hardest part was getting used to his new pack mate. A good dog knows that to survive and thrive the pack must grow. But when the alphas brought home a new puppy, he knew immediately there was something wrong with it. It didn't smell right. It didn't understand that it was supposed to conform to its place in the pack hierarchy. And it had a *terrible* speech impediment. The dog was not cut out to have other dogs under his command.  But the odd deformed cat puppy was now his responsibility.  He tried his best to train it, but he has come to accept that the cat puppy will never be capable of fully pulling his weight in the pack. It would never bark at the deer like a proper dog, or guard the foolish humans from recklessly wandering the world without proper backup.

But life with a human pack is worth *every* hardship. Even without the rawhide bones and belly rubs, walks in the woods and the cozy bed he lets his pack mates share (except the cat puppy), the dog knows he is fulfilling his deepest purpose. He knows he is a *good boy*. And that is the highest standard any dog can aspire to.

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