Usual trip to coffee shop with owner this morning. Met Caspar, who was looking impossibly fluffy. The Owner petted him. AGAIN. So much for monogamy. Attempted to eat him under guise of puppy play. We’ll see who’s cute when she gets dog hairs in her cappuccino.
The Owner retrieves me and says sit, at which point my bottom attaches automatically to the floor with no input from me, and she calls me a Good Dog. With a terrible predictability I feel, immediately, as though I have eaten cheese, even though on a rational, realist, utilitarian level there is no cheese anywhere to be seen. Once I was called a good dog AND given cheese. Now being called a good dog is a substitute for cheese. I’m not sure what you would call this but I’d call it fraud by deception. I am an existentialist-utilitarian dog. Why am I so hideously satisfied by metaphorical cheese?
From the depths of my philosophical agony I notice that the Owner does not say stay. I notice this very precisely, and by coincidence after a second I also notice that my bottom is now free. The Owner again tells me that I am a good dog, but the face Caspar is pulling counters the effect of the metaphorical cheese most effectively. It makes me feel, suddenly, as though I had expected cheese but been given lettuce. Released from Pavlovian slavery to the true freedom of the Primordial Dog I attempt to reach Caspar through the legs of the tall human between us and – lo and behold – once again I am a bad dog.
I don’t understand this. I licked him very helpfully as he got up.
Caspar leaves and I put my bottom on the ground, not because I am told to but because I feel like it. I sigh. To my surprise the Owner once again tells me I am a good dog. However I notice that the tall human, who insisted he did not need a sticking plaster but is still waiting for a replacement coffee, gives me a look which suggests that he thinks I am not a good dog.
I suspect that good dogs are a relative concept.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.