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JIMMY, THE BLOGGING DOG LIKES THE SNOW

It’s me, Jimmy, The Blogging dog. I don’t know when the humans at bobcrespo.com will run this piece, but I am writing it on February 26,  2010, a day that brought us another 2 feet of snow in a winter of that has brought us a whole lot of it. Me, I love the snow, and like nothing more than to frolic around in the drifts. Many of my fellow dogs could do without all this deep snow, what with them being real small and all and getting easily buried and stranded, but I’m a pretty big mutt and I find it to be a lot of fun.

People call me The Canine Einstein because I can communicate with them in one of their languages, but being a dog genius doesn’t mean I don’t like to play just as much as the next mutt. It’s not exactly like this genius deal has set me free, either. I am a slave like every other dog, the property of a human master (One that I am making very wealthy too, I might add!). Perhaps I am more at liberty than most dogs, but being the freest slave in the world is like being the best looking frog in the pond, still pretty damned ugly.

I know what you’re thinking, we’re pets and partners and not slaves and all that other noble crap. Oh yeah, who handles the TV remote in your house, dog owners? Who decides who gets to leave the house and when? Who gets to sit on the furniture and and who sleeps on the damned floor? You know the answers to these questions, so stop pretending that your dog is your voluntary friend. Oh, we’re your friends all right, Man’s Best Friend and all that, but you people haven’t exactly been our bosom buddies.

Even those groups of people who form clubs to “protect” and “save” us are always telling dog owners to neuter their animals, thus removing just about half of our reason to live. Some friends! Any volunteers to surrender the family jewels? Thankfully I have not been subject to that ultimate humiliation, but only because I displayed advanced intelligence at a very young age. Uncounted millions of my brethren haven’t been so fortunate, and getting “fixed” only confuses the hell out of them. How would you like to stumble through this world wondering why you feel compelled to hump the neighbor’s leg but haven’t a clue as to why?

The more I study this whole human/dog symbiosis, the more skewed and unreal it appears, even though it is the only life I have ever known, or at least first-hand. I have the experiences and the mind-sets of countless ancestors stored within my brain, as does every dog. It’s called species memory, and I can conjure up at will many very vivid memories and experiences of my ancestor dogs dating back thousands of year. You may not believe it since humans tend not to believe that something you yourselves don’t experience can possibly exist, but it’s true. What the hell do you think dogs are thinking about all the time? It sure isn’t fetching a damned ball, that’s for sure!

Our instinctive and inborn species memories connect dogs in a very real way with the past. This current blizzard, for example, conjures up powerful images of my forebears hunting in packs in the deep snow, emerging from their lairs at dawn to greet the terrible beauty of a deep, fresh snowfall and planning the day’s hunt. The deep drifts gave them an advantage over their prey, negating the superior speed and maneuverability of the caribou and elk that were on our menu during the Ice Ages. Yes, dogs did just fine during the Ice Ages (there were several within my own species memories). We’re a pretty adaptable bunch.

So this blizzard gives me an opportunity to recall the days before our  enslavement at the hands of humans, a time when we ran in packs in a do-or-die world, competing with giant bears, wolves and saber-toothed cats for the privilege of hunting down and killing elk and caribou the size of a Buick with antlers like a rack of butcher knives. One could make the argument that we have it easier now without our cans and bags of tasteless dog food and safe climate-controlled human homes, but that would be to ignore the basic essence of dogs, and that is that we are by nature meat-eating pack predators.

So when you let out Fluffy to cavort in the snow, bear in mind that he is visiting his ancient memories of another time, another reality, when humans were just one more pack-hunting competitor to dogs, eking out a living in the caves and snowdrifts of an icebound earth, sharing the terrible beauty of a natural world without roads, without buildings and without vehicles of any sort. Many is the carcass that a pack of dogs took away from human hunters, and vice-versa, in the endless competition for food for our ourselves and our young.

It is painful to admit, but it was a dog’s idea that we pool our talents and cooperate on the hunt, but the partnership soon became completely one-sided, with the dogs using our vastly superior noses, fangs and teeth to locate and subdue game, which our human “senior partners” proceeded to set on fire before they ate it, ruining some perfectly good steaks. With the help of dogs, the humans finally came to dominate, then completely eliminate the other Alpha predators from the hunting grounds that were the entire world at the time. Anybody seen any Saber-toothed cats or Neanderthal men around lately?

So maybe our partnership with humans was a move towards self-preservation, since even a squirrel could see that these Johnny-come-lately humans wouldn’t be happy until they killed or enslaved every other living creature. Well, all this dog can say about that is: Mission Accomplished! You don’t even have to hunt for food anymore, you’ve got the cows and pigs and sheep and chickens all fooled into thinking they’re living a paradise, their every whim catered to, until one day “Whammo!”, they’re slaughtered for dinner without even a life-or-death struggle!

That’s the world we inhabit now, and dogs are nothing if not pragmatic, and so we accept the yoke of slavery as a tradeoff for survival. Our species memories dating back many thousands of years informs us that every dominant species eventually either loses their dominance or dies out completely. So this generation of dogs plays in the snow rehearsing for the day when humans no longer dominate all of Creation. What Fluffy is doing out there is honing his skills for the day of our liberation, practicing cornering and killing a majestic beast who just might get the better of you. That’s the price of freedom for dogs, one we will be glad to pay when humans finally go away. Until next time, this is Jimmy, The Blogging Dog.

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