Hergest, says the Owner, opening a drawer and extracting a glass, why are you inveigling yourself into my personal space?
I am Standing Guard, I say.
Could you not Stand Guard a few inches further away? Asks the Owner, opening the Fridge, six inches would be marvellous, even three inches would be a great improvement.
I could Socially Distance, I say, but it will significantly increase my Response Time. We Moral Dogs spend a great deal of time computing Reaction Time and Response Time in order to Determine exactly how far away to Stand, I say. My current position is the Results of Generations of Moral Dog Wisdom, Integrated with the Moral Dog’s understanding of his Owner’s Fears and Weaknesses, and his Constant State of Alert. It involves a Moral Trade-Off between Convenience and Safety, Loyalty and Self-Interest, Comfort and Preparedness. It is both an Art and a Science. The Moral Dog is a Finely Honed Response Machine. You can Trust him to be Fine Tuned to Defender Perfection.
Mostly the Moral Dog is Asleep on me, says the Owner, pouring a glass of Fruit Juice, and right now I do not see any Hazards.
That is because you are an Innocent Abroad, I say. The Moral Dog brings Ancestral Wisdom to the Calculation, I say.
I am in the Kitchen and the Greatest Threat I face is being Attacked by the Fridge, says the Owner, closing the Fridge. If the Moral Dog were a foot away it would make Barely a Whit of Difference.
Split seconds count, I say, particularly given your Acknowledgment that the Fridge is a Serious Threat.
It is not a serious threat, says the Owner, sipping her Juice. That is my point. The kitchen is a Safe Environment.
One never knows when an Environmental Hazard is close by, I say.
Is this about Spiders again? Asks the Owner, rinsing the glass.
It might be, I say.
In which case, says the Owner, drying the glass, it may be more about My Speed of Response than your Speed of Response.
I cannot imagine what you mean, I say. I am absolutely sure that the last time we saw a Spider I was at your side in under a Millisecond, I say.
So am I, says the Owner, putting the glass away, the last time a Spider entered the room you flew through the air like a Giant Wuss and would not Get Off me until I had caught it in a glass.
I do not know what gave you such an idea when I was Obviously protecting you, I say.
Your shouting Help Help in a Wussy Fashion offered the first clue, says the Owner, turning to return to her desk.
I was calling for Backup, I say. I seem to recall you recently updating your Resuscitation Training, I say, and is not one of the first principles that you should call for Help before you commence the Serious Actual Lifesaving, on the basis that all of us have only Finite Capabilities and, heroic as you are, eventually you will need a Trusty Sidekick to Relieve you?
Then you shouted Please Don’t let it Eat Me, says the Owner, attempting to Step Over the Moral Dog, even though it was Smaller than your Right Paw.
People are always saying I have Big Paws, I say, and clearly if it had Eaten me I could not have Saved You.
Dammit, says the Owner, falling over the Moral Dog and spread eagling herself on the floor, this is Exactly What I Mean, she says. The Moral Dog need to maintain a Proper Distance.
If I had been further away I could not have got to you so fast when you fell over, I say.
Argh, says the Owner.
The Moral Dog. Impeccable Logic at All Times.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.