Dogs, they are a sort of fuzzy magic, these distillations of goodness, beings that make us want to be better beings.
They crush me. They might crush you too. Dogs are innocence. They are curious. They scare easily. They are too trusting, too bold, too daring, too out-of-their-heads that we – People. – have to be their guides. Surely they can guide themselves but we are often their keepers.
And they are so smart. They have clung to us, leaves stuck in the hair of human existence, our little effects that seem to have an affect on everything. To believe some dogs are human eyes. To believe that some dogs defuse bombs. To believe that some dogs are mayors.
Dogs are reflections of people. A mirror. Us, at our best. Us, at our worst. Even the dog who shoots a gun is a lesson, even the dog that bites the hand. They are a lesson. Who wronged them? What person trained them to be this way? How did we export our monstrousness so effectively?
Look to a dog to see yourself, that is. In a year of the dog, we enter a year of looking at ourselves through tiny, beady eyes. that is the year of the dog. It is a chance to be a child, a canine child, our species best friend, to experience everything as brand new – to hope for the best by seeing the best. Not blithe ignorance, not hopeful carelessness: it is a trust in the better. Even when life, when the world, is at its worse, think that dogged thought. What would doggy do? A mantra from the lips of the moon.
A dog year may feel longer. Seven years in one, days multiplied into months, weeks into seasons. Don’t think. Be the dog and life and do and be. Why wait? Time won’t stop. It just gets faster, a tighter twist, the nose nuzzling closer to the tail as a deep sleep sets in.
Let us not let our sleeping dogs lie. Let us give them a gentle pat from their nuzzling, a tap on the head, a rub of the rump, a gentle strum of the spine. Wake the canine child. Walk them, walk with each other. There’s a lesson here, if you listen and look closely. There’s always a lesson with a dog.