Ouchouchouch, I say.
Excuse Me, says the Owner of a Poodle, We Are Next. We Wish to Discuss the Removal of Parts.
Speak for Yourself, says the Poodle.
This is an Emergency. He Ran Through a Bush, says the Owner.
Oh Dear, says the Vet. He has a Scratched Eye, says the Vet.
Scratched? I say. This is Major Trauma, I say.
I have Just the Answer, says the Vet. Dog Goggles, says the Vet. Show this Prescription to the Dog Shop Lady, says the Vet. She Will Provide what is Needed.
I do not think he will Go Along with it, says the Owner.
Excuse Me, I say. I am Listening Too, I say. Go Along with What? I say. What are Dog Goggles? I say.
They Are in his Best Interests, says the Vet.
Oh Dear, says the Owner.
Excuse me, I say. Who is to Decide what is for the Good of the Moral Dog if not the Moral Dog Himself? I say. What is Autonomy Worth if Not To Choose Unwisely? I say. Did not Lady Justice Hale Make Clear that Best Interests are broader than those which are Medical Alone because they Include the Patient’s Welfare in the Widest Sense, I say. In the famous case of Aintree v James, I say. Heard by the UK Supreme Court in 2013, I say. Who is therefore Better Able to Decide Such Things than the Patient Himself, I say. No Decision About Me, Without Me, I say.
He Does Have a Point, says the Owner.
I am Better Able to Decide, says the Vet, because I am a Vet, says the Vet.
Given the kind of Intrusive Groping to which the Moral Dog has Already been Subject, I say, I should Hope you Are a Vet, I say. All Other Explanations are Simply too Horrible to Contemplate, I say. But the Moral Dog is Well versed in Knowing What is Best for the Moral Dog, I say. May I Cite our Specific Difference of Opinion Regarding the Usefulness of the Moral Dog’s More Sensitive Body Parts, I say. Look How Useful they have Been Already, I say. And You Appear Constantly Ready to Chop them Off, I say. I Rest my Case, I say. Ha, I say. You can Take Your Goggles and Smoke Them in your Pipe, I say. I Realise this Metaphor Does Not Quite Work but the Moral Dog is on a Roll.
Of Course He May Complain a Little, says the Vet.
I will Bring him Back if he Complains, says the Owner.
I would Not Bother Leaving, I say.
You Do Not have to Take Any Notice, says the Vet. Remember who is In Charge, says the Vet.
Oh My Good Lord, says the Owner.
Can you be Serious? I ask. Am I to be Oppressed in the Fashion Employed by Totalitarian States the World Over Throughout Human History? I ask. I Suppose I will shortly also be Colonised and Enslaved, I say. And Forced to Labour for the Enrichment of Others, I say. My Raw Materials Plundered for the Enrichment of Empire, I say. My Traditions Crushed with the Casual Arrogance of Prejudice, I say. Ruled Without a Vote, I say. Relied Upon without Adequate Representation, I say. Raised with Insufficient Cheese, I say. Although it is hard to imagine what Quantity of Cheese would be Sufficient, I say. Genghis Khan had Nothing on You Two, I say. I Would not Be in Your Shoes when the Masses Arise, I say.
I see what You Mean, says the Vet, but He Cannot Remove Them, says the Vet. Owing to Having No Thumbs, says the Vet. Dog Goggles are Designed to Prevent Removal by those with No Thumbs, says the Vet.
Argh, says the Owner.
Did I say that Out Loud? Says the Vet.
I Suggest a Sabbatical, says the Owner. Starting Immediately, says the Owner.
What Kind of Vet School did you Go To? I ask. Have you never heard of the Social Model of Disability? I ask. Professor Tom Shakespeare is clear that the problems Disabled People face are the result of Social Exclusion, not their Individual Deficits, I say. Professor Stephen Hawking would have Had You for Breakfast, I say. This Highlights the importance of Removing Social Barriers to the inclusion and participation All Community Members, I say. Placing a Moral Responsibility on All Society to Include Not Exclude, I say. Obliging Even the most Well-Meaning and Paternalistic of Vets to Remove Burdens which Function Only to enable those who Possess certain Chosen Physical Attributes to Exert Control and Enjoy Superiority over the Rest, I say. Morally Decent Societies are those which Seek to Enable All Persons to Participate on an Equal Footing, I say. To Oblige the Moral Dog to Wear Anything that Requires Thumbs to Remove It is Clearly Discriminatory, I say. Sort Yourself Out, I say. Get a Grip, I Say. I Feel a Google Review Coming On, I say. Bring Me a Keyboard, I say.
Is he Always Like This? asks the Vet.
I Did Warn You, says the Owner. It is Possibly No Coincidence that his Previous Vet has Retired.
Two Stars, I say. Out of Ten, I say. With Comments, I say. Referenced to Literature Explaining the Social Model of Disability, I say. And the European Convention on Human Rights, I say. And Promoting a Better World, I say. And Demanding Re-Evaluation of Unconscious Prejudice, I say. And Demanding that Equality is Approached with Real Meaning rather than as an Afterthought for which Those with Differences should Simply Be Grateful, I say. Understanding that Inclusion means more than Just Words, I say. Addressing the Fundamental Nature of What a Community Is, I say. Goggle-Free, I say.
How Do You Cope? Asks the Vet.
Watch and Learn, says the Owner. Come, Hergest, let us Abandon the Cool and Dog-Enhancing Dog Goggles Offered by the Oppressive Vet owing to their Outrageous Requirement for Thumbs, says the Owner. Let Us Head Home, Instead, for Cheese, says the Owner. Although I have Only Camembert Impregnated with Worming Tablets, says the Owner. Since the Moral Dog Accidentally Ate All the Cheddar when he Mistook It For a Burglar, says the Owner. Sadly, the French now Produce No Other Kind, says the Owner. We are All in the Same Boat There, says the Owner. Worm Free, says the Owner.
The Moral Dog reflects Briefly on the Giant, Dog-Consuming Worms that the Owner has Explained Lurk in Hedgerows. Impregnated Camembert will be Perfect, I say. Given the Lurking Presence of Worms the Size of Weasels All Across North London, I say.
Nice One, says the Vet.
What do you mean, Cool and Dog-Enhancing Goggles? I ask the Owner.
Nothing, says the Owner. Do Not Tell Him, she says to the Vet. It would be Unfair, says the Owner. He Will Want to Wear Such Goggles if he Sees Them, says the Owner. Even Though he would then Almost Certainly Refuse to Take Them Off I could not Oppress Him in that Way, says the Owner. However Cool and Dog-Enhancing they are. Whatever Envy they Generate. However Much the Wearer Intimidates the Chihuahua, says the Owner. And Terrifies the Squirrels, says the Owner. And as to the Ducks, says the Owner, I cannot Imagine the Effect it will have on the Ducks. Suffice to say there would be No More Superior Quacking, says the Owner. Feathers would Fall.
Take me to the Dog Shop, I say.
I Cannot Oppress my Moral Dog by Doing So, says the Owner.
What if I Want to be Oppressed? I say.
Kant says No Moral Agent can Choose Slavery, says the Owner.
Kant was not Referring to Dogs, I say. Nor Goggles, I say.
Very Well, says the Owner. Let us Go To the Shop.
Make it Snappy, I say. And I Do Not Want Goggles that can be Removed Without Thumbs, I say. I do not want Some Duck or Squirrel Removing Them, I say. Lead on, MacDuff, I say. Get a Move On, I say. Scratched Eyes Wait for No Man, I say. Time is of the Essence, I say, when there are Chihuahuas at Very Turn.
That Is Very Impressive, says the Vet, They do Not Teach That at Vet School.
I Will Bring him Back to Show you a Moral Dog in Goggles, says the Owner. He Will Doubtless want to Thank You, says the Owner.
Indeed I will, I say. I Shall Give you my Full Opinion, I say. Although Do Not get Any Ideas regarding Other Parts of the Moral Dog, I say. They Are Not Coming Off, I say.
There is No Need to Bring Him Back, says the Vet. It is Getting Late.
What Time do you Close? Asks the Owner.
Very Soon, says the Vet. I am a little Tired, says the Vet.
The Moral Dog’s Thank You Will Not Take Long, says the Owner.
It Might, I say.
I am Closing Imminently, In Fact, says the Vet. I Find I am Unusually Exhausted.
What about my Poodle? Asks the Owner of the Poodle.
We may Have to Postpone, says the Vet.
We Can Be Quick, says the Owner of the Poodle.
And I may Increase to Four Stars, I say. For the Right Biscuit, I say. We can Discuss it on our Return, I say.
Actually I Am Closing Right Now and Will Not be Open Again for Some Time, says the Vet, and Two Owners, the Poodle and the Moral Dog find themselves Outside whilst the Vet applies Multiple Bolts to the Door Behind Us.
I Don’t Know Why I Bothered, says the Owner of the Poodle.
The Poodle dances a Small Jig.
The Owner and the Moral Dog Head Off to the Dog Shop to Collect the Cool and Dog-Enhancing Goggles.
Game, Set and Match to the Moral Dog.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.