The unbearable lightness of being my dog

I keep reading about these surveys, right. I generalize them as the “University of Middlesex” surveys or study reports. Last page of my newspaper. Today it reported about how women called Naomi Campbells find peace in sweeping garbage rooms. Stuff like men who wear grey trousers find better wives. Or chances are that bespectacled women are more productive than their male counterparts at the work place. Or children who listen to their mothers grow up with fewer social adjustment problems. You did need that study. A mix of the exotic and the pedestrian.

People who have dogs find themselves a best friend. Great survey talking point. I had two best dog friends. Today, I want to write about one of them. Juju. Short for Jujuska. Named after the first doggie in space who died, but went there before Laika (officially the first dog in space), nevertheless.

I have these dog beliefs which are no different from other dog lovers. I see beauty in their eyes and their tummies and their tails. I know that if I touch a paw, on a good, bad or completely trounce-y day, I will feel warmth. And redoubtably so. No cynic slash critic can break this - you can count on a dog to love his friend. The kind of love that’s beyond comprehension. For they give in bounty and don’t care what they get back. I am not like that - my life is a sometimes- happy, sometimes-sad tangle of many expectations - so I know what level of exulted greatness this is.

Its not the wag, the lick, the bullying paw techniques alone. When you grow up with your friend as a pup and take her to adult doghood, you change too. You just don’t realize it. I realize it sometimes. I was talking about my dog all the time to everyone. She did this, I miss her, she did what, I thought this. I asked my mum to exactly tell me one time “so what percentage of my talking time is spent talking about Juju?”.

This is for posterity’s sake. There have been times when I am feeling tired, weepy and alone (like we do every fourth day) and my dog just asks me, “what happened?”. Its like they know just the thing for a bad day. Its therapeutic. I have now read about four books (easy substitutes for racy reading not elsewhere specified) which speak of how men want to “fix problems” by various methodologies – admitting there is a problem, drawing parallels, leveling analogies and demonstrating sound logical thinking. Outside of some women practicing yogic meditation, all women hate this. And while this may sound like an unfair comparison between men and dogs, unfortunately, it is. My dog never hypothesized a root cause to a bad day, on any day. So many things could have happened to get you so low. All one wants is a coupon to a “hereby released” emotion. It has a lot to do with dogs having mastered the very elusive concept of selfless love. Two rare occurrences in one form. Selfless and love.

They talk to you. But the wavelengths are different. I hate to break this but doggy speak is not gibberish. Dogs spell words clearly, including the “r”s and “s”s. (After crossing six months, they say “how are you?” and not “howl aaal you today, baby?”. :-)

Doggie speak ranges from “Are you really not going to share the sausage with me????” to “I feel bad you feel bad.” to “its 3 pm, that’s the walk time, so what are you thinking?”. Doggie moves range from pawing your magazine, plunking a butt on your lap, and putting a cold schnoz to an exposed arm in anticipation of previously promised favours. Then of course there is the subject of talking eyes, which express emotions not currently vocabularized by the English language. Do a combination of angry, delighted, sulking, expectant in your eyes and you will, without a doubt, look cock-eyed. Not our canine brotherhood.

Does your dog care if you have a good, bad or any opinion about him/her? No. Does he/she think about things? You bet. They communicate without letting up a second of their waking time, it’s just that they don’t use human words. Their integrity is 100%, zero defect. And as I was reading what many great men (such as Lord Byron) think of their four-legged friends, I felt how beautifully dogs transform everyday living. Within seconds, agony becomes belief. For in their eyes, you see that you are not a bad person after all. Its as simple as that. You are the best you can be. And that quadruped looking you in the eye believes that more than you do. What a feeling.


Raaga said...

Great post. I totally agree about the therapeutic part that the relationship provides. :)

Vevay said...

People should read this.