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January 5th. Banished.

The Moral Dog has not Gone to Daycare Today. Outside the Wind is Howling and has little Bits of Ice in it, and the Moral Dogs’ Tomato-Coloured Coat that makes him look like a Pillock is Discarded in the Garage. The Moral Dog plans to Deal With It Later. Now, in the Kitchen, the Daycare-Deprived Moral Dog reclines at the Foot of the Owner wearing a Pained Expression whilst Absorbing the Tragedy of Banishment. The Owner and the Man are Muttering Quietly.

The Owner and the Man appear to be talking about the Moral Dog behind his back, I say.

I do not see how you can suggest such a thing, says the Owner, when you are sprawled on that Cushion like a Mutant Amoeba with your Legs Akimbo such that One is Reminded of a set of Exhibits in a Village Fete Best Homegrown Vegetable Competition, says the Owner. The Moral Dog’s Back would be a Preferable View, says the Owner.

That is Very Rude, I say. I am Suffering, I say. They have Banished Me, I say. I shall require a Great Deal of Attention in order to Get Over It, I say. And a Certain amount of Extra Cheese, I say.

The Moral Dog doe not look as if he is Suffering to Me, says the Owner. Kindly Roll Over in order to Facilitate our Concentration on Talking about the Moral Dog behind his Back without Distraction.

My Suffering is Existential, I say. Søren Kierkegaard, the Father of Existential Philosophy, would have Spotted It at once, I say. Jean Paul Sartre rooted Existential Suffering in the realisation that the Most Important things in Life are Lacking, I say. Your friend Friedrich Nietzsche saw Existential Nihilism in Total Loss of Purpose, I say. Your Eyes are Rolling into the Back of your Head, I say. I suspect you are Existentially Overwhelmed, I say. I recommend Cheese, I say.

Dream On, says the Owner.

You were Saying, says the Man. He has been Banished? says the Man.

I have, I say. I can no longer Run in the Fields with All the Other Dogs whilst the Owner Works on her Thesis and Drinks Tea, I say. I can no longer wear my Tomato Coat with Pride and Affection, I say. I must stay on this Warm Cushion whilst the Wind Howls Attractively and the Ice gathers in Little Heaps in the Corners, I say. I will Struggle to Manage this loss as Best I can, I say. I Wriggle on my Cushion. It is Very Warm owing to the Heated Floor. Cheese Might Help, I say.

Why is he Banished? Asks the Man.

For Conduct Unbecoming of a Moral Dog, says the Owner. Conduct that the Daycare Persons Attribute to the Moral Dog’s Parts, says the Owner. Perhaps the Parts should be Re-discussed, says the Owner.

My Parts are Innocent, I say. I am a Tragic Victim of Systemic Injustice, I say. Of Partsist Assumptions made about Moral Dogs who have Evaded the Clutches of the Vet, I say.

Of course, says the Man, he was Bound to Deny It, says the Man.

I am here, Actually, I say. Woof, I say.

Although one would Completely Ignore such Protestations, says the Owner.

Dreyfuss got the Same Treatment, I say.

We could Find a new Daycare, says the Man. He will Otherwise be Bored with nothing to Do Between Walks but Lie on his Cushion, says the Man. And his Lovely Tomato Coat will Go To Waste, says the Man. .

Do not Trouble Yourself, I say. The Moral Dog would not wish to be a Burden, I say. Viktor Frankl said that finding meaning in difficult situations gives us the will to continue living through the worst of circumstances, I say. Including Banishment, I say. I will Stay Here, I say. On this Cushion, I say, Enjoying Occasional Walks, I say. And Plentiful Compensatory Cheese, I say.

I will have to Find out what he Did, says the Owner, before Determining whether Anyone Else will Admit Him to Another Daycare.

I am Confident that they Will Not, I say. Tragically, I say.

I hope you did not Snarl, says the Owner.

I Certainly Did Not, I say.

I must say, says the Man, I Tend to Believe That, says the Man. The Moral Dog that I know could not possibly Snarl, says the Man.

Thankyou, I say.

Given that he is a Complete Wuss, says the Man.

I Object, I say. How heavy must the responsibility weigh on those others who, in torturing an individual, are also abusing the confidence of an entire nation, I say. That was Dreyfus, I say. A Man found Guilty without Cause, I say. In case you did not Get the Allusion, I say.

I have seen him Run Away from the Chihuahua Many Times, says the Man.

Frankly, I say, Rottweilers run Away from the Chuihuahua, I say. You do not understand the Meaning of Danger until you have been Trapped in a Space of less than Fifteen Hectares with a Chihuahua, I say. Particularly That One, I say.

Poor Little Thing, says the Owner. Did you see it when its Owner had to Hose it after the Moral Dog’s Targetted Weeing? Asks the Owner. I felt Sorry for It, says the Owner.

You would not have felt Sorry for It if you Spoke Spanish, I say. You would have heard Comments on your Physical Appearance which were Deeply Unflattering to anyone who did not Actually look like a Monkey’s Bottom, I say.

Nevertheless, says the Owner, the Moral Dog has been Banished from Daycare for Conduct Unbecoming, says the Owner. Did he, Perhaps, Steal another Dog’s Food?

I suspect not, says the Man. The Moral Dog no Longer wishes even to Chew on Dead Ox, says the Man, Ever since he received the Second Fridge he has become Ludicrously Choosy, says the Man. This Morning he insisted on Ice and Lemon in his Water, says the Man. I cannot see him Stealing Other Dog’s Food, says the Man.

I would not Dream of it, I say. Most of them eat Dogfood, I say. I do not Understand it, I say.

Perhaps he attempted to Escape into the Meadows and Woods of Hertfordshire in Pursuit of a Squirrel, says the Owner.

You must be Joking, I say. The Persons running the Daycare have explained that the Surrounding Fields are Populated with Giant Dog-Eating Zombie Squirrels, I say. None of us are Foolish enough to go AWOL around there, I say. Zombie Squirrels are the Worst Kind, I say. You couldn’t Make it Up, I say.

Nice one, says the Man. What, then, did he Do? Asks the Man.

I am going to Read the Email, says the Owner. Then I will Tell You, says the Owner.

You do not want to Read That, I say.

Actually, I do, says the Owner.

It would Distress you Further, I say. On Behalf of your Unjustly Banished Moral Dog, I say. I would Delete it at Once, I say. Spare yourself the Humiliation of Complicity in Injustice, I say.

It is Too Late. The Owner is Reading the Email. The Moral Dog Executes a Timely Exit in the Direction of the Living Room. He happens to Known there is a Heated Floor in there too, and it has the Advantage that he can Gloat through the window at the Moral Fox.

Oh my Goodness, says the Owner. It is True, says the Owner. No Other Daycare will take him After This, says the Owner. How Could he? Says the Owner.

You are Right, says the Man, reading over her Shoulder. Our Dog is a Moral Outcast, says the Man. How will we Live with the Shame? Says the Man.

The Moral Dog Snuggles down in the Living Room and Gloats through the Window at the Moral Fox. He does not bother with the Pained Expression, since the Owner and the Man are not In Here to See It. He does not thinks his Full Exposition of the Works of Schopenhauer to the Other Dogs Really Deserves this sort of Opprobrium. But it seems to have Served its Purpose.

Categories: dignity dog dog philosophy

Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

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