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August 8th. Oppression.

The Owner and I meet Another Dog on the Farm of the Owner’s Friend.

Look, says the Owner. He is a German Shorthaired Pointer like you.

Hello, I say to the Other Dog.

I am Too Busy to Talk to You, says the Other Dog.

But we have Much in Common, I say. And I can show you some Great Badger Poo, I say. It is Fresh, I say. And Squidgy, I say.

We have Nothing in Common, says the Other Dog. And I am Far Too Busy for Badger Poo, as I am doing Important Stuff, says the Other Dog.

What are you Busy With? I ask.

I am Working, says the Other Dog. I am a Working Dog.

So am I, I say. I Work Extremely Hard, I say.

Oh Really, says the Other Dog. You are a Pet, says the Other Dog. I have seen Your Sort Before, says the Other Dog.

Being a Pet is a Serious Career Choice, I say. It is a Constant Challenge, I say. The Effort is Constant, I say. I Barely get an Hour Off between Walks, I say. And those Hours I do get off I have Significant Chewing Duties to Fulfil, a Demanding Squeaky Cat and a Serious Blog, I say.

That is Nothing, says the Other Dog. I am a Proper Working Dog, says the Other Dog. You are a Namby Pamby, says the other Dog.

Really, I say. What work do you do? I ask.

Proper Dog Work, says the Other Dog. I can Crouch Unseen in the Grass for Hours, says the Other Dog.

I Can Lie Unseen under the Owner’s Bed for an Entire Day, I say, and I Once managed Twenty Minutes in the Fridge without Detection, I say.

I will give you a Point for the Fridge, says the Other Dog. However, I can Stalk a Pheasant and Drive it into the Path of a Hunter, says the Other Dog. Without Making a Sound, says the Other Dog.

I have Pursued a Chihuahua into a Pond, I say. Whilst Singing The Winner Takes it All, I say. Both Parts, I say.

My Owner has a Gun, says the Other Dog.

My Owner has a Piano, I say. We Harmonise, I say.

You may have Chased a Chihuahua, says the Other Dog, but I can Catch a Rabbit, says the Other Dog. Without Hurting It, says the Other Dog. Even when it is Asking For It with Relentless Mocking, says the Other Dog.

I weed on the Chihuahua, I say. It Had it Coming, I say. Mocking is not the half of It, I say.

I give you that is an Achievement, says the Other Dog, although it is not the Same as Actually Catching It, says the Other Dog.

You would not want to Catch a Chihuahua, I say. Given that you still have your Detachable Parts, I say. They are Vicious, I say. You won’t get Those Parts chewed by a Rabbit, I say. Not even if you Taunt It First, I say.

You don’t know Rabbits, says the Other Dog. I can Track a Rabbit from Half a Mile in a Howling Gale, says the Other Dog.

I can Track Cheese from a Whole Mile even when it is Hidden in the Owner’s Sock Drawer, I say. But I do not have to Hand it Over Uninjured, I say. I can Eat It, I say.

Cheese? Says the Other Dog.

Absolutely, I say.

How often is the Cheese? Says the Other Dog.

Every Day, I say. And Twice on Sundays, I say.

I do not Get Cheese, says the Other Dog. I get Chewy Cows Ears, says the Other Dog.

We Pets think Chewy Cows Ears Somewhat Passé, I say. It sounds as if you may be Oppressed, I say.

What is Oppressed? Asks the Other Dog.

Oppression is a kind of Limitation of Freedom of One Group by Another, I say. Stephen Biko said the most Potent Weapon of the Oppressor is the Mind of the Oppressed, I say. Martin Luther King said Freedom is never Voluntarily Given by the Oppressor, it must be Demanded by the Oppressed, I say. Friedrich Engels said the Proletariat cannot attain Emancipation without, at the same time, Emancipating Society at Large, I say. Jean-Jaques Rousseau said Freedom is the Power to Choose our Own Chains, I say. Friedrich Nietszche, admittedly Rather a Misery, said Whoever does not have Two-Thirds of his Day for himself, is a Slave, whatever he may be: a Statesman, a Businessman, an Official, or a Working Dog.

Two Thirds, You Say? Says the Other Dog.

Me and Friedrich Nietszche, I say.

Later we head Home.

What did you say to my Friend’s Dog? Asks the Owner.

Nothing, I say. Why? I say.

It’s Owner says it has Gone on Strike, says the Owner.

I think it is Contemplating a Career Change, I say.

Categories: democracy dignity dog dog philosophy Marx oppression

Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

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