Many things squeak. In a complex universe a dog could be forgiven for thinking a squeak is one of those things you can rely on. I have learned, for example, that a piece of dead ox will always be chewy, that a carefully placed poo will always thrill the woman into a kind of plastic bag frenzy and that goats milk was made by the Dog God for puppies. Squeaking, on the other hand, has proved more confusing.
I have a squeaking toy. When I make it squeak the Owner laughs and praises me. Sometimes there is cheese, or a kind of magical paste which tastes of nuts and drives me into the kind of wild frenzy that gets some dogs a bad name. Sometimes there is laughter and hugging and the kind of dog-human bonding that allows dogs to almost feel humans are also full moral beings, in the sense of Immanuel Kant who felt morality to be linked to reason. Sometimes there are even mutual licks, although the Owner appears ambivalent about the licking, sometimes seeming to feel that her ears are off limits. I understand that she might be sensitive regarding her ears. They are pretty useless – they don’t even move, and there are little bits of metal in them. I wonder if she has been microchipped.
There, though, as Shakespeare said, is the rub. I have a squeaking Owner. When I chew her she also squeaks but, unaccountably, when this happens there is no cheese. Instead there are all kinds of other noises and I am left alone whilst she stands under the tap washing the blood off. I would have washed it off, willingly – she is my Person. It would be another example of Rousseau’s social contract, working perfectly. Another example of Harari’s idea that social bonding is the cement that makes the community function. I chew, she bleeds, I lick, cheese is produced, all is well. What doesn’t she get about that?
I feel I will just have to keep on chewing her until she works it out. In the morning, when she takes me to empty my bladder whilst wrapped in a towel, there are more varied opportunities, particularly regarding knees. I shall persevere, because I am a German shorthaired pointer and we are stubborn and faithful. It’s for her own good. It is rather wearisome, though, to discover that her use of squeaking is so unreliable. Why squeak if you don’t want love and attention?
There surely needs to be some sort of logic by which the world can be judged.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.