I did not think the Owner was the Kind of Person who would look at That Sort of Thing online. I mean, I know she is Doing Research but to come into the Kitchen and find Those Sorts of Images glaring at me…
How do you think it makes me feel? I ask.
Look, says the Owner, it’s Perfectly Legal.
Yes, I say, but what is Legal and what is Moral are Very Different. I thought this was a Moral Kitchen.
It is, says the Owner. I got here By Accident. I Clicked on a Link.
You haven’t Clicked off it, have you? I ask. Look at it. How Could you.
I was concerned, says the Owner, I needed to Investigate.
There is No Excuse, I say. I may have to Pack my Bags.
You do not Have Any Bags, says the Owner.
That’s not the Point, I say.
Look, says the Owner. Lots of Moral Dogs read the Daily Mail.
That doesn’t make it acceptable, I say. I cannot even bear to say the Worst Aspect of it, I say.
What do you think the Worst Aspect of it is? Asks the Owner.
They are all Fluffy, I say. The Moral Dog is a Short-Haired Breed, I say, chosen, no doubt, for the Convenience of the Hoover. It comes as a Bitter Pill to see the Owner sighing over Pictures of Fluffy Dogs, particularly after having Selected the Moral Dog for the Benefit of a Domestic Appliance.
I am not sighing because they are Fluffy, says the Owner. I am Sighing because they are Just Puppies.
This is Even Worse. The Moral Dog was Once a Puppy, I say. Now that I am Older, but Still Faithful and True, am I to be Cast from the Owner’s Affections because the Daily Mail pictures Fluffy Puppies in such an Indecent Fashion? It Should not Be Allowed. What sort of an Owner Reserves their affection for Puppies and Casts Aside their Moral Dog?
Sadly, says the Owner, That is the Point. These are Puppies that are No Longer Wanted. Their Owners are Attempting to Sell Them On. They are Refugees, Lost Flotsam in the World of Moral Dogs. The Daily Mail is Publicising their Plight.
I am Shocked. Why are they No Longer Wanted? I ask. Are they Not Moral?
The Owner Blows her Nose. They are Clearly Moral, she says. Their Owners Acquired them for Christmas but Proved Unsuitable by the New Year, she says.
They did not Give their Owners Much Chance, I say. It is only Three Weeks since Christmas. Could they not have Made Things Work where they Belong?
It may not take long to Discover, says the Owner, that some Owners are Unsuitable. Sometimes the Fact that you Cannot Belong Somewhere Any More is Unavoidable.
What will happen to them? I ask.
I hope they will be Rescued by Moral Owners, says the Owner. They are Seeking Asylum. They Need a Forever Home.
I Clear my Throat. Were you thinking of Rescuing them? I ask.
The Owner Blows her Nose again. I wish I could Rescue them All Personally, she says. How would the Moral Dog feel about it? She asks.
I Swallow. I look at my Comfortable Bed. I look at all the Space in it for Myself and Squeaky Cat. I look at my Pleasant Food Bowl for which I do not have to Compete, and my Space on the Owner’s Sofa which Occupies Most of It. I look at the Fridge in which Resides the Cheese. I look at my Owner who, apart from her Occasional Insistence on Hugging the Man is, Largely, Devoted Entirely to Me. There is No Doubt that, as a Moral Dog, I am Well Provided for, if one ignored the Cheese-free Diet to which I am now Subject.
Then I look at the Moral Puppies in the Daily Mail who had the Misfortune to Find Themselves in Unavoidably Unsuitable Homes with the Kind of Owners who Do Not Understand about the Rights of Moral Dogs. I do not suppose they have Space on an Owner’s Sofa, and it is Clear that they do not have an Owner Devoted Entirely to Them.
Look, says the Owner, That One Looks like Caspar.
The Dog in the Picture looks Just Like Caspar. It would not be right, I say, to Suggest that All Dogs are Equal but also suggest that Those Dogs who find themselves in Terrible Circumstances do not have a Right to a Better Life. They are Moral Persons Who are Just Like Us.
That is True, says the Owner.
And we have space, I say.
We have Plenty of Space, says the Owner. We live on less than 2% of our Land whilst, as I understand it, Grouse Moors Occupy 6% of Our Land
I have found Grouse to be Entirely Unreasonable, I say.
Indeed, says the Owner.
And a Moral Dog who Wishes to Make a New Life would be an Asset to Any Home, I say. After all Nobody Chooses to be a Refugee.
Exactly, says the Owner.
And I could Share Squeaky Cat, I say, although I struggle a little to say his name and it sounds a bit like a hiccup.
Refugees do not seek to Share Squeaky Cat, says the Owner. They wish to Work towards Earning a Squeaky Cat of Their Own.
I think we should Buy Them All, I say. Let us Do It at Once.
I hope, says the Owner, now that they have been in the Daily Mail they have Found Owners, but the answer is not to Buy Them. It is wrong to Buy a Moral Being. That is to Encourage Moral Beings to be Traded like Property. If one Trafficks in Puppies it becomes Easier to Believe that Puppies Can be Treated as Things.
But Puppies are Purchased from Breeders, I say.
When One Pays for a Puppy from a Breeder, says the Owner, one is not Purchasing the Puppy. One is Paying the Breeder for all their Hard Work and Time and Effort and Vet Fees in Helping Bring a Moral Puppy into the World. To Pay a Good Breeder for a Puppy is to Encourage the Responsible Breeding of Moral Dogs. To pay an Unsuitable Owner for a Puppy is to Encourage the Irresponsible Actions by Owners who believe a Puppy can be Purchased for Christmas, and Sold in the New Year.
So, I say, one cannot put a Price on a Puppy, but the Moral Act of Raising a Well may be Rewarded, whilst the Immoral Act of Attempting to Pass it On Like a Thing which should not.
Exactly, says the Owner. It is the Moral Meaning of the Exchange of Money that Defines its Moral Acceptability.
So Actually, I say, it is better to support Organisations that Rescue Puppies for Love, not Persons that Sell them On for Money. Then Puppies are Rescued by Persons that Love them and Unsuitable Owners are Less Inclined to Purchase them Without Thought.
One should Rescue those seeking Asylum in Ways that Do Not Encourage them to be Sold, says the Owner. That way those whose Homes are Unsuitable could Travel Safely as Moral Persons and Ask Openly for Help, rather than Travelling Secretly and Unsafely and being Handled as Baggage in the Back of a Lorry.
I get the Feeling we are not Talking about Moral Dogs Any More, I say.
It is the Same Thing, says the Owner.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.