The Owner says Morality is an absolute which gives rise to certain rules. I say all rules are subject to context. Morality itself, I say, is contextual. Today is a case in point.
It began as an ordinary day. The sun had risen, the birds were singing, the squirrels were taunting me from the branches and on the pond floated a Supercilious Duck. As we headed into the Park, the Owner extracted her breakfast from her pocket and began to eat it.
In order that what follows makes philosophical sense for those who root for the Moral Dog I must add at this point that the scone, the very large scone (relative to the size of the Owner and, certainly, relative to the size of the Moral Dog) was made of cheese.
Let me also add, before I go on, and in additional defence of the Moral Dog, I had understood that the Owner and the Moral Dog were mutual participants in some kind of agreement regarding the apportioning of cheese.
I also want to explain, before I go on, that I know the Owner doesn’t try to eat my breakfast. I know that. My breakfast is a mixture of duck and rice. It is completely hypoallergenic, and also contains peas, oats, sunflower oil, whole linseed, beet pulp, yeast, marine algae, vitamins, minerals and mannan oligosaccharide to maintain a healthy digestive system. Yum, she says as she pours it into the bowl for me. Yum. And then she refrains from eating any of it and I appreciate this, I really do. But, and note this carefully, it does not contain cheese. Every morning, as we set out for the park, me replete with Puppy Duck and Rice, the Owner (as she puts it rather histrionically), gasping for coffee, I am already in Cheese Deficit.
This is the context in which the Moral Dog found himself this morning when the Owner, having gasped her way through a tall dry cappuccino and released me into the Park, sat on a log and extracted a giant, warm, cheese-rich object from her pocket, broke off a piece that would be entirely sufficient to sustain most fluffy dogs for a week, and ate it. Then, as if oblivious to the heady scent that enrobed me, the comradely (and arguably contractual) expectation that filled me and the massive Cheese Deficit with which I had been primed, she put it on her knee, opened her phone and started to complain about the Prime Minister.
Down the aeons and ages, from the volcanic fires of the colliding continents and the icy wastes of the creaking glaciers, came a pure and compelling Voice.
From the far corners of Dogdom, from the wolves and the wild dogs, the foxes and the jackals, the huskies and the fluffy dogs, it echoed with the sound of a Primeval Instinct.
From the ancient partnership which saw the Ancestral Dog protect the Ancestral Human through the long dark winters of the frozen wastes, give power to the sleds of Scott and Shackleton and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and even precede Humans into Space, it sang of contracts and agreements, of trust and expectation, of comradeship and a commitment to sharing.
It was a voice so compelling, so embedded, so fundamental, so reverberating, so piercing that it went directly to the Moral Heart of the Moral Dog. There is no other way to describe it but this; deep inside his Darwinian Soul the Moral Dog heard the Call of the Cheese.
Morality is by its nature contextual.
This is the context in which the Moral Dog ate the scone.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.