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June 20th. Gratitude.

Thank you very much, says the Owner.

Don’t mention it, I say.

I wasn’t, says the Owner.

You just did, I say.

I was being Ironic, says the Owner. One would not normally thank a Moral Dog for covering one in Pondwater.

Philosophers debate the specific conditions under which Gratitude is called for in a Beneficiary, I say, but it is normally held that if an Owner is the Beneficiary of a Moral Dog’s active provision of Benefit then Gratitude is Called for.

Gratitude is not obligatory when Pond Water is involved, says the Owner. Nor Slobber, she says. Is this Slobber? She says.

It might be, I say.

Gratitude is not Owed for Slobber, says the Owner.

That is like saying that if the Moral Dog knitted you a Christmas Jumper with a Reindeer on the front, I say, and you did not like it, you would not have to show Gratitude.

It is not the Same at All, says the Owner. You do not Knit Slobber, says the Owner.

Is that Pondweed in your Hair? Asks the Man.

I think it is also Slobber, I say helpfully.

Argh, Says the Owner.

Kant suggested that Gratitude is Obligatory in response to all Benevolence, I say. I cannot believe, I say, that you would Reject the Christmas Jumper I knitted for hours, I say. I may now Pine, I say.

You have not made a Christmas Jumper, says the Owner, you have wallowed in Slime and thrown it at me.

Hume said ‘of all crimes that human creatures are capable of committing, the most horrid and unnatural is ingratitude’ I say.

Hume was definitely exaggerating, says the Owner.

Some philosophers have conceptualised gratitude as a reciprocation, I say, altering the Bond between Owner and Moral Dog forever. Each might then believe that the other would offer him Further Support in his Hour of Need.

I already know that I will never be in need of Pondwater, says the Owner.

I would settle for just a thank you, I say. Bearing in mind, I say, that the constituents of a full grateful response normally involve acknowledgement of beneficence, recognition of thoughtfulness, acceptance of the supererogatory nature of the act and realisation that it Illustrates the Regard with which the Moral Dog views the Owner. Thomas Aquinas, I say, said that beneficiary who forgets an act of beneficence seems to fall Morally Short, I say. Seneca said that a beneficiary who forgets such a gift is the worst and most ungrateful of beneficiaries, I say. And most agree that Gratitude is essential for the Enhancement of Moral Relationships, I say.

I do not think Thomas Aquinas was ever covered in Pondwater, says the Owner. And if he was, says the Owner, he would not have Thanked the Moral Dog. He probably only had One set of Robes.

Thanks are not essential to the Moral Dog, I say. There is debate among philosophers about exactly what behaviours are required for a beneficiary to count as grateful, I say. I am not going to insist on Overt Thanks. Gratitude may also be demonstrated in a desire, tendency or willingness to benefit the benefactor in the future, I say. With a small but Morally Satisfactory thank-you gift, I say.

I have a terrible suspicion this is all about Cheese, says the Owner.

Of course it is not about Cheese, I say. How could you think such a thing? I say.

Really, says the Owner.

Although now that you mention it, I say, it is an Excellent Suggestion.

Categories: dignity dog dog philosophy

Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

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