Sunday, December 5, 2010

On dogs and other things

I know about things like high speed rail and the cycle of prison and homelessness. I know what it’s like to wish they would just kill themself and put us all out of our misery, because at least grieving has a process and is easier than watching and waiting. I know little pieces of big things and at work I’m a shell, alternately awkward and on-fire witty, pumping out swathes of documents and doing what I’m told. I wonder what it’s like to feel engaged at work. I am fascinated by the subjects that I work around, like I am fascinated by most topics, but this place doesn’t let me care. I think about who I am outside of work, and it’s nothing, either. I am a reader and a worrier. I read, and anxiously flit between obligations trying to eat enough vegetables.

I have spent the last three weekends with my little dog by my side, returning her on Sunday night, when she moves seamlessly from baby to alpha, and the top of the couch. It’s interesting, being a some time dog owner. There’s something missing, not living with a dog, and something so lovely about being followed into the toilet and having visited three parks before 10am on Sunday morning.

This Sunday, she was set upon by a cat being chased by a toddler. It hissed at the child and in a blind instant was upon Mimi, twice her size and weight, clawing and screaming. She screeched and cried and I saw a flash of dead dog, but wrenched her away with only a few smears of blood on my arms. Hers. She was shocked and shaking and I was hating cats again, when the owners ran out and asked what the hell was going on. Your cat attacked my dog. Oh, she does that.
We carried on to Methven park where a group were gathered around a bunch of small dogs, and a tiny apricot teacup poodle on an old woman’s shoulder. Owners of small dogs are sure to have sympathy for small dogs being attacked by large cats. Instant friends.

These are my people, but I’m not really one of them. Dogs have been such a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. My grandpa, Pat, healing ‘little beasties’ with splints for mice and nests for baby birds. Picking Lady up after she’d been hit by a car on Belmont Avenue, when I was so scared and overwhelmed that I couldn’t get close enough to even determine whether it was a log or Lady. It was Lady, and she was still so young. She had gone outside through a hole in the kitchen cupboard which was her dog hole at her house, but just another part of the building site that was ours, at the time. So unfair. And Camille next door’s dog, Carole the German Short Haired Pointer, running around the streets every day, unconfined and scared. I hated them because they wouldn’t even have known if she had been killed, and she was so scared that I could never even get close enough to make her safe. And Lady’s first visit was her last.

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