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October 18th. The Printer Drum.

The Moral Dog feels compelled to return to the Page by the Oddness of his Owner, who is Apparently Too Busy to Go For a Walk.

You Cannot be Too Busy, I say. You are Just Sitting There looking at that Plastic Thing, I say.

I am Not Just Sitting Here, says the Owner. I am Writing, says the Owner. And it is not a Plastic Thing, it is a Printer Drum, says the Owner.

What are you Writing? I ask. I Assume it is a Tirade regarding the ever-more Incoherent State of British Government Policy, I say.

No says the Owner.

Or a Searching Analysis regarding the Human Rights Situation in Western China, I say.

Wrong again, says the Owner.

Is it, then, some deep Exposition of the Importance of the Bond between Humans and their Moral Dogs and its Reliance on Regular Walks in the Park? I ask. If it is, you say, you might try a Final Chapter on the Risks of Attempting to Live with an Unexercised Dog, I say. Given the Fact that I share 99.9% of my DNA with a Wolf, I say. I would not want to Leap out and Savage You by Mistake, I say.

The Moral Dog shares 60% of his DNA with a Banana, says the Owner, but I do not Expect those to Leap Out of the Bowl and Savage me By Mistake because I do not Take them for a Walk.

The Moral Dog regards the Bananas Nervously as he had not Previously Realised that they were such a Source of Danger. I am amazed you Leave Them in that Bowl, I say. Given that I Sleep in this Room, I say. Vulnerable, I say. Alone, I say. Abandoned, I say. To Any Bananas that Wake Hungry in the Night, I say. When you Wake up and Find me Gone, I say, perhaps you should Write About that, I say. Or Perhaps, I say, this is some Hideous Experiment and you are Merely Writing Down your Latest Observations on the Failure of those Bananas, So Far, to Consume the Moral Dog, and your Hypothesis that Tonight may be the Night.

For Goodness Sake, says the Owner. I am writing an Online Review for Amazon, says the Owner. In order to Assist Others with their Purchasing Decisions, says the Owner.

I see, I say. Are you perhaps Reviewing your Recent Purchase of a New Water Bowl for the Moral Dog, one adorned with Life-Enhancing Images of Dogs of Other Breeds looking Unaccountably Thirsty?

No, says the Owner.

Then you must be reviewing your recent purchase of that Extraordinary Work of Science and Pscyhology, How to Live in Harmony with your Dog through Sharing of Cheese, I say.

I knew it was you that Ordered That, says the Owner. And No, says the Owner. And You are Not Having Another Fridge, says the Owner.

You cannot be reviewing the Humiliating and Dignity-Cancelling LED Dog Collar in Fashionable Orange which is Mysteriously No Longer With Us, I say. Such a product cannot be Advisable, I say. Other Owners might be Taken In by it, and waste their Money on an Unreliable Trifle, I say.

It was not Unreliable, says the Owner. The Moral Dog and Caspar Threw it in the Pond, says the Owner.

Nobody can possibly have seen us, I say. Oops, I say.

The Moral Dog is Forgetting, says the Owner, that the Humiliating and Dignity-Cancelling LED Dog Collar in Fashionable Orange was Illuminated at the Time, says the Owner. The Nefarious Actions of the Moral Dog and Caspar were Visible from Space, says the Owner. But I am not reviewing the Humiliating and Dignity-Cancelling LED Dog Collar in Fashionable Orange, says the Owner. I am reviewing this new Printer Drum, says the Owner. Look, says the Owner. Is it not Lovely? Says the Owner.

It is a piece of Green Stuff, I say. It is Not Even Cheesey, I say. No, I say.

The Moral Dog is just a piece of Brown and White Stuff says the Owner, but I love him.

The Moral Dog provides Dog Companionship to a Superior Level, I say. The Printer Drum does Nothing, I say.

It Does what it is Meant to Do, says the Owner. Unlike Some Moral Dogs, says the Owner.

The Moral Dog Ignores this Underhand Blow. It Just Sits There, I say. There is Nothing you can Write About That on Amazon, I say.

I have just Written that, sometimes, late at night, I may Creep from my Bed and Turn on the Lights just to Gaze at the Drum, says the Owner. Just Sitting There Obediently and Quietly, says the Owner. Also Unlike some Moral Dogs, says the Owner.

I think perhaps you need Therapy, I say.

Not at all, says the Owner. As the poet W H Davies said, says the Owner

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

You are Nuts, I say. It is a Printer Drum, I say. You can Stare at it All Day, I say. It will still be a Printer Drum, I say. A Moral Dog, on the other hand, I say, is Different at every moment of the Day, I say. Running, Jumping, Eating, Chasing, there is No Limit to the Entertainment he Offers. In Exchange for the Occasional Walk, I say. And Cheese, I say. And Sufficient Space in his Own Fridge, I say.

Another Wonderful Quality of this Drum, says the Owner, Ignoring the Moral Dog, is its Patience, says the Owner. This Drum has sat here for Hours and Hours, Uncomplaining, without once Demanding a Walk, says the Owner. It has required Absolutely No Cheese, says the Owner. What More can one Ask of a Companion? says the Owner. I may order Another, says the Owner. Or Two, says the Owner. Perhaps a Job Lot of Ten, says the Owner. If I can find Space to Keep Them, says the Owner, getting up from her Seat.

A Chill passes through the Moral Dog’s Soul. Why Are you Measuring the Moral Dog’s Bed? He Asks the Owner.

To see how much Space there is in it, says the Owner. It is Quite Big, says the Owner. As Big as Six Printer Drums, says the Owner. Maybe Eight, if they were Properly Stacked, says the Owner. Now, what was it that the Moral Dog wanted? Asks the Owner.

Nothing, I say, looking at the Printer Drum. I wonder if I could Set the Bananas on it in the Night.

Did the Moral Dog not want a Walk? Asks the Owner. And Cheese? Asks the Owner. And there was Talk of a Fridge? Says the Owner.

Not at all, I say. I am just Sitting here Silently, I say. You will Get Yours, I tell the Printer Drum, Silently.

I could Swear I heard you Grumbling About All Three, says the Owner.

I think that was the Printer Drum Talking, I say. It Does That, I say. I hear it in the Night, I say. Plotting, I say. When I am Kept Awake by the Threat of Bananas, I say.

Really? Asks the Owner.

They are Duplicitous, I say. You have No Idea, I say. They share 99.9% of their DNA with Russian Troll Factories, I say. They are Anybody’s for a Bit of Attention, I say.

No Walk? Says the Owner.

I am Fine, I say. Sitting Silently Here, I say. Maintaining a Vigilant Attitude to That Drum, I say.

No Cheese? Asks the Owner.

The Moral Dog’s Cheese Requirements are Minimal, I say, and I do not Want to Take my Eyes Off It, I say.

And the Moral Dog’s Fridge is, after all, of Adequate Capacity? Asks the Owner.

Absolutely, I say, as long as we can both Hide In It when that Drum goes on the Rampage, I say.

The Man Appears and Falls over the Printer Drum. Please Move That Thing, he says. Put it in the Printer, he say. And let us Head Out on the Moral Dog’s Walk, He says.

He does not Want One, says the Owner. He Prefers to Stare at the Printer Drum, says the Owner.

Seriously? Asks the Man.

Hahahaha, says the Owner.

Hahahahaha, says the Man.

Hahahahaha, I say, but I do not Mean It. We can go for a Walk. I will Deal with the Printer Drum Later.

Categories: dignity dog dog philosophy

Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

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