Look, say the Owner, out of the Window. Do you not see the beauty of Highgate Wood?
It is too lovely, I sob, I cannot bear to leave it.
But we have only just got here, says the Owner.
That means we will soon be going, I hiccup.
You need to enjoy the moment, says the Owner.
I cannot, I am Sinking in to Melancholy, I whimper, whilst Sinking into Melancholy.
Why has that Dog sunk into Melancholy? Asks the Man.
Because it will soon be the End of his Walk, says the Owner.
But it is not even the Beginning of his Walk, says the Man, he has not got out of the Car.
It is a Tragedy, I sob. Every time I set out on a walk I create the inevitability of its ending.
I think the Moral Dog is moving from Anticipating the Beginning to Anticipating the end without Enjoying the Bit in the Middle, says the Owner.
Exactly I howl, to get out of the car leads inevitably to the Sorrow of getting back in again.
The alternative seems to be that we stay here in the car, says the Owner, but what would be the Point of that?
That sounds an excellent plan, I say, as that would allow me to experience far more time Anticipating the Delight of a Walk, which is the best part, and far less time knowing that it is about to end.
In that case, says the Man, why do we not return home and allow him to Contemplate the Walk from there?
That is a very good idea, I say. The Moral Dog would thus have an Extra Period of Anticipatory Delight in which to contemplate the Walk. Schopenhauer says happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure, I say. Let us go home at Once.
This Dog is not Normal, says the Man.
He has discovered Anticipation, says the Owner. It is an important Stage in his Moral development.
A Dog that quotes Schopenhauer is not Normal, says the Man.
Schopenhauer also said Compassion for Animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is Cruel to Animals cannot be a Good Man, I say.
Argh, says the Man.
We arrive home and the Man goes in. I linger at the Door. What is he doing? I ask.
He is anticipating a Cup of Coffee, says the Owner.
Or possibly a Mug of Gin, says the Man.
But it is nearly Ten o’Clock. I say.
I have a Horrible Feeling I know what is Coming Next, says the Man.
It is time for my Walk, I say. Let us go at once, I say. I have been anticipating it for over an Hour.
I don’t know why he is sighing and blowing. He has so much longer to Anticipate his Coffee.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.