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Oct 9th. The Ancestral Dog and the Moral Dog.

There seems to be some confusion between the Moral Dog and the Ancestral Dog.

The Ancestral Dog marks out his territory. That’s how other, slightly less moral, slightly more fluffy dogs know that it is his. Within this territory the Ancestral Dog defends his Ancestral Human against all comers. This means should he find himself in new territory he will swiftly establish boundaries and become vigilant. Should the Ancestral Human be attacked by Ancestral Cats or Ancestral Velociraptors he is then well-placed to dispose of them to the fullness of his capabilities.

As Charles Darwin observed in his excellent assessment of natural selection, evolution turned the Ancestral Dog into the Moral Dog. This is because the Moral Dog – unlike, say, the Fluffy Dog – kept the Ancestral Human safe whilst the Ancestral Cat and the Ancestral Velociraptor attempted to eat him. The Ancestral Dog was therefore at the front of the queue when the Ancestral Human gave out chunks of woolly mammoth after a long day in the mesozoic jungle swamps.

Today the Ancestral Cat has shrunk. Today the Ancestral Velociraptor has been replaced by the Evil Waste Bin whose strange snapping metal jaws consume everything from broken coffee cups to chewed textbooks. Today the Woolly Mammoth has evolved metaphorically into the small but tasty biscuit. The Ancestral Dog, meanwhile, has evolved into the Moral Dog. In some cases (and I don’t want to be too specific here) the Ancestral Dog even evolved into Superdog. We are as One. The Moral Dog, therefore, feels entitled to assume that the rules of our mutual evolution still apply. Frankly, when the Moral Dog defends the Moral Human he expects the Moral Human to get the Metaphorical Mammoth out of the biscuit tin.

The Owner, who seems to understand my Oneness with the Ancestral Dog (hence her provision of such an excellent quantity of dead ox) seems nevertheless strangely unaware of the quid pro quo established by this evolutionary relationship. When she returned to the Strange Kitchen which the Moral Dog had been left to Make Safe she seemed remarkably unappreciative of the effectiveness with which the Moral Dog had placed the Moral Wee in order to exclude the Ancestral Cat. The fact that the Moral Dog had engaged in a serious and ultimately victorious battle with the Evil Waste Bin counted for nothing. Even though he had consumed most of its contents and torn the rest into very small pieces, neutralising their threat for ever. Even then the Metaphorical Mammoth did not appear from the biscuit tin.

Caspar and I are writing to Charles Darwin. We wish to make a complaint.

Categories: dignity dog dog philosophy evolution philosophy

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Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

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