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JIMMY, THE BLOGGING DOG, WONDERS ABOUT HISTORY

It’s me, Jimmy, the Blogging Dog, also known as The Canine Einstein for my ability to communicate in English by using a computer. If you happen to run into me, don’t expect me to speak to you. Oh, I’ll understand you all right, but won’t be able to hold up my end of the conversation since dog mouths, throats and vocal cords can’t do human languages. I’m getting a little tired of people being disappointed that I don’t actually talk to them like some cartoon or movie dog.

Only on my special paw-friendly keyboard can I write down my thoughts, and I don’t always have a computer handy when I go about my dog business. That would be pretty cumbersome, what with me walking on all fours and not having shoulders to hang the strap of my laptop holder. I don’t even have a lap for that matter, so I stick to my iMAc with the special keyboard designed for my rather large paws. So if you see me out and about, expect pretty much the same greeting any other dog would give you; the requisite butt sniffing, tail wagging and licking, with maybe a bark or two thrown in.

I promise not to hump your leg either, since I am not one of those dogs who has had their nuts removed and have only a vague idea of what their dicks are for other than pissing. It’s not their fault, it is yours for neutering them. You see, we dogs are a compulsive lot, with a very long history of instinctive behavior to which we must adhere, even though for these past 10,000 years we have been a captive race of beings in service to humans. Slaves, if you will, even though you call us “pets.” We remain in our essential nature pack predators; loyal, territorial and quick to defend our turf and our pack.

Scientists have recently pinpointed the time and place dogs got involved with humanity at 10,000 years ago in the Middle East, that section of the planet where so much of human history originates. I could have told them that had they bothered to ask, as could almost any dog. You don’t have to be a Canine Einstein to know these things. You see, dogs have an inborn species memory to go along with our instincts, a characteristic that enables us to “remember,” for lack of a better word, what went on in the lives of every ancestor before us.

Their accumulated life experiences are passed down through their generations, as will my own to the many offspring I have been privileged to sire. Not that they will share my advanced intellect, since that seems to be an incredibly rare freak of nature, but they will know what my my life was like and also what went on in the world around me.

Don’t ask me to explain it, since a “dog genius” is only about as smart as a moderately stupid human being. I’m an Einstein by dog reckoning, but only a Glen Beck by human standards. So take my gift for what it is and expect no more of me. Isn’t it enough that I can do what no other dog has ever done? Please don’t ask me to cure cancer or explain how species memory works like Scooby Doo with a lab coat. Not gonna happen. Would you ask that of Jim Carey, who’s almost as smart as I am? No, no you would not.

Species memory is real, even if my own contains only vague memories of the Middle East. Most of my earliest ancestors roamed the Ice Age valleys of Europe as pack hunters for eons before humans made their presence felt in any meaningful way. This past winter, with its many blizzards and deep snow drifts, triggered powerful subliminal memories within me, vivid mental images of a time when dogs were independent rivals of Dire Wolves, gigantic saber-toothed cats, bears the size of pickup trucks, and yes, humans.

There were actually two kinds of humans back then, regular ones like yourselves, and then there were the Neanderthal people, a fun loving bunch of brutes with the strength of lowland gorillas and the stamina of camels. They were around for as long as dog memory carries, and other than being rival carnivores, weren’t too bad as neighbors. They killed only what they needed, didn’t carve up the earth with roads, fences and strip malls, and pretty much kept to themselves. Then you people came along and it was all downhill for rival predators after that.

Compared to the Neanderthals, you regular humans were pretty puny specimens, but had one advantage; you were a lot smarter. You guys invented all sorts of wicked weapons (and still do to this day, even with no significant numbers of rival predators left standing, but that’s a whole other puzzling story). If there’s one thing a predator won’t abide, it is competing carnivores in their territory, so on top of the pressure to constantly hunt and eat, inter-species warfare is never-ending.

Think of how lions treat cheetahs, leopards and hyenas. They kill them on sight if they can catch them. You regular humans did the same to the Neanderthal humans, then to the saber toothed cats, the big bears, the mammoths, the giant elk and caribou and just about any other creature who got in your way. What had been  an uneasy but efficient standoff among Nature’s predators became complete rout once humans decided they wanted everything everywhere, even the swamps and deserts. It was no wonder that dogs saw the handwriting on the wall and allied themselves with humans.

We may be slaves, but at least we’re still here. Can’t say the same for the Neanderthals, who are all gone, or even wolves, who were once very numerous but not so much anymore. They’re one of the “endangered species” that some humans wring their hands about, conveniently forgetting that it was humans who pushed all these species to the brink of extinction. From what I read, tigers may be next. Too bad, too. Magnificent beasts, tigers.

I do a lot of reading on the internet, which I figure to be the closest thing you humans have to species memory. There’s a whole lot of information to be learned there, and pretty easy to access if you have patience and the ability to ignore the frivolous and untrue. Which is sort of true with species memories too, since you have to take into account some of your ancestors who happened to be complete fools. Hey, it happens, even in the best of families, and the fools get to put in their 2¢ worth too, just like on the internet. It’s up to the individual to tell the difference between nonsense and valuable information. It’s not all that hard if you’re sharp.

The problem with humans, however, is that anybody and everybody gets to breed. Not so in the animal world, where only the worthiest specimens get to pass on their seed. In general, the weak and mentally handicapped don’t get to breed. The fools in my own family tree are few and far between, sneaky petes who coupled with a bitch while the pack leader wasn’t looking. Like I said, these things happen here and there. In human family trees, however,  there’s no Alpha Male around preventing the feeble fools from banging out bunches and bunches of babies.

Heck, there was just a famous dopey human woman all over the news called the Octomom who had herself a whole litter! Odds are the father of those babies wasn’t a rocket scientist. And every one of them will have equal access to the internet sooner or later. Hopefully they will have more on the ball than their Octomom and their anonymous father. Sometimes I wonder how it is that humans came out on top in the predator wars. But there’s no denying that humanity did come out on top, and the proof is in the dog license hanging around my neck. Until next time, this is Jimmy, The Blogging Dog .

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