The Owner and I are setting out on our Morning Walk when the Owner produces a Thing from her Pocket.
What is That? I ask the Owner.
You Do Not Want to Know, says the Owner.
Au Contraire, I say, for the Moral Dog is Wise in Matters of Language. If the Moral Dog did not Want to Know then he Would Not Have Asked, I say.
It is Nothing that should Concern the Moral Dog, says the Owner.
It seems to the Moral Dog that the Owner is being Particularly Philosophically Obtuse. You are, I say, being Particularly Philosophically Obtuse, I say.
I suppose, says the Owner, that is because the Moral Dog has Agency, and therefore takes the view of Kant, that to Attempt to Deny him the Right to Determine, Autonomously, and in Conditions of Freedom, Capacity and Information, whether a Thing should Concern him or not is to Disrespect his Status as a Moral Being and reduce him to at Best a Child and at Worst a Mere Pet. I suppose that no Moral Dog would permit a Decision About Him Without Him. I imagine that the Moral Dog’s Entire Sense of Self would suffer Profound and even Permanent Diminishment, were Any Owner to Do So.
No, I say, it is Because it is Yellow.
Have it Your Way, says the Owner. It is a Thing from the Vet, says the Owner. For Catching Stuff, says the Owner.
Like Balls? I say, and I can feel my Tail starting to Wag Spontaneously.
No, says the Owner. Not like Balls, says the Owner. Although in That Vicinity, says the Owner. Haha, says the Owner – or at least, she attempts to say Haha. It does not Come Out that Way.
I Cannot Imagine what else would be Worth Catching, I say.
We are not Catching it for You, says the Owner. We are catching it for the Vet. She has Asked for a Sample, says the Owner. An Early Morning Sample, says the Owner. And it is now Early Morning, says the Owner.
It is indeed Early Morning, I say. And the Moral Dog has an appointment with a Bench in the Park, I say. I cannot just Wee Anywhere, I say. Get a Move On, I say. Sort Yourself Out, I say.
Actually, says the Owner, now that the Moral Dog mentions it, say the Owner, that is the Early Morning Sample that is Of Interest to the Vet, says the Owner.
The Moral Dog Watches in Deepest Horror as the Owner Attaches a Bottle to the Thing. Oh Good God, I say. She cannot be serious, I say.
My Words Entirely, says the Owner.
What did she say? I ask.
She said Do Your Best, says the Owner. She said it is in the Moral Dog’s best Interests that it is Done, says the Owner. She said it will help Tailor his Treatment as Moral Dogs Deserve, says the Owner. And She said Watch Out for…. says the Owner, for… says the Owner, for… says the Owner.
For what? I ask. How Bad can it Be? I ask. Can Anything be Worse than Pursuing the Moral Dog Around the Bench like Benny Hill? I ask.
Things Blowing in the Wind, says the Owner Faintly.
The Vet is a Madwoman, I say. I Always Knew It, I say. This is what happens when Vet Schools admit the Kind of People who Talk about the Moral Dog’s Parts as if they are Detachable, and Plot with the Owner to hide Antibiotics in Cheese, I say. I shall Never eat Camembert Again, I say. She has Ruined it For Me, I say. As she will now Ruin my Bench, I say. I will never again feel the same way about Weeing on the Bench, I say. I Expect that will Delight the Man who sits there with the FT, I say. But it will Haunt Me, I say.
The Moral Dog is not the Only One, says the Owner. I suggest Once it is Done, we Never Discuss it Again, says the Owner.
We arrive at the Bench. The Moral Dog will Draw a Veil over the next ten Minutes of the Shared Lives of the Owner and the Moral Dog. Suffice to say that we Carry the Shared Trauma, and Always Will.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.