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  • Writer's pictureDan FitzPatrick


Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Logan and I just got back home from a trip to the dog groomers. It is one of our favorite things. Not only do we look and feel great (even dogs are susceptible to vanity!), but the whole experience is good fun, even the car rides to and from. And the part we really enjoy is all the dog watching.

There are one or two dogs we see regularly, but for the most part we see new dogs each visit. Big dogs, little dogs, yippy dogs, silent types --- with features, coats and colors that range all across the spectrum. Some breeds are well behaved, while others are notoriously difficult (I will not identify them as I believe that stereotyping is rude and unacceptable). Logan tends to bark a bit when we first arrive, mostly just to announce his presence and invite others into dialogue. I prefer to sit where I am and just enjoy the show.

Speaking of shows, Logan and I are often with our human family when the television news programs are playing. I must say that I don’t understand why our humans watch them. The actual news portions are pretty depressing, and the rest of the programs seem to consist of a number of humans barking at each other without bothering to hear what the other person is saying. It actually makes us dogs look pretty good in comparison.

One part of all this yelling and yapping really bothers me: it seems like many of the news people are trying to sow division among the humans. I hear a lot of talk that portrays some groups as bad, some as good, some as oppressors and others as oppressed. The strangest thing is that they make these distinctions based on perfectly normal and innocent factors like the way other humans look or the beliefs they hold. And I have noticed that the characterization of these groups as good or bad depends a lot on the personal opinion of the humans speaking on the television. This is really confusing and, to my mind, absolutely crazy. The worst thing is, it seems to be getting worse every day.

I’m not saying that dogs have everything right, but we do not make judgments (or at least try not to) of other dogs based upon their breed or the color of their coat. We are all dogs together. We actually celebrate the fact that we are different; if it weren’t the case, life would be dull and Logan and I would not enjoy our visits to the groomers so much. Why in the world are the humans complicating their lives and making themselves so obviously miserable?

I asked Logan for his view. “Cadbury,” he said, “far be it for me to claim to understand all the reasons humans behave as they do. I have observed, however, that many struggle with the fact that there are differences among them in terms of financial resources, material comforts, needs and opportunities. Their values of justice, fairness and love for one another conflict with their tendency toward envy, greed, and desire for power over others. Put another way, their idealistic tendencies are often frustrated by the less attractive aspects of their human nature. While it has taken them a very long time, they actually have in some instances succeeded in stopping some very bad past behavior, though the lingering anger and regret over those past actions will take a while longer to resolve.”

“I share your concern about what has been happening recently. There seems to me to be a concerted effort to drive divisions among different groups of humans. I have noticed that even in normal conversations not involving the television, humans don’t seem to be listening to each other. There is little engagement, mostly only conflict, statement-making and position-taking. It is really bad, and getting worse. I wish they could see how much we love and are worried about them; perhaps then they would take a break from all the fighting.”

“All we can do at this time is be there for them at every moment. I think it also would be beneficial if we tried to model the behavior we would like to see in them. So from now on, we will modulate our barking at passing humans and their pets to communicate only welcome and good wishes. Perhaps if they are happier with us, they can become happier with themselves. It’s worth a try.”

That gave me a lot to think about. Once again, Logan had offered wisdom, and I vowed to follow it. Perhaps even take it to another level. So, I have decided to try to be kinder to, and more accepting of, cats. I know that’s a really big stretch, but I once heard the eldest male in our human family say something like “Go big or go home” – if simply “going home” (which I love) is the downside, then I’m all in for trying hard for the upside.

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