John Steinbeck wrote: “I need a dog pretty badly. I dreamed of dogs last night. They sat in a circle and looked at me and I wanted all of them.”
I’ve been dreaming of dogs a lot lately, almost every night. Here is some of what I’ve been dreaming. Dogs rain (reign) in my mind:
Dogs apprehend for merriment: humans apprehend for profit. Dogs don’t desert humans in crisis; humans desert humans in crisis. If a dog’s face adorned a unit of US currency, who is that dog? If a dog’s face did adorn a unit of currency, we will have become a much better nation and possibly not end up intestate. Dogs can detect cancer in humans, but not the cancer that humans’ metastasize into the natural world. Dogs do judge—but only people who neglect or beat them. Humans don’t need a reason to judge. Humans snort and shoot meth; dogs provide succor for meth humans. President Obama’s biggest policy mistake was not adopting a shelter dog. He could have changed the course of modern American dog history by taking the First Lady and the girls to a DC shelter and having the girls pick out an abused mutt. Instead, he got a fancy breed and didn’t use his bully pulpit. He didn’t play politics when he had the winning hand of a straight dog flush and was the only player at the table. General George Washington returned General Howe’s dog to him after the dog escaped during the battle of Germantown. Washington included the following note to Howe: “General Washington’s compliments to General Howe. He does himself the pleasure to return to him a dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the collar appears to belong to General Howe.”
It occurs to me that I have dog treats in all the pockets of my coats and corduroys. Winston Churchill described his fits of deep depression as his “black dog.” I don’t understand the reason. Black dogs are the antithesis of depression.
Sonny always went nuts when she heard Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” I used to dance with my dogs, but to one song only: the opening track of the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, “Rocks Off.” As a kid, I had a dog who shit in the house one time in his life; it was on a Zenith floor console during the President Ford’s State of the Union address. I met a dog in an Oregon tavern who fetched cans of Hamm’s for humans from behind the bar, but only Hamm’s. Budweiser was out. I once saw a team of two dogs pull a man in a wheelchair into an Oregon Coast tavern. He ordered three hamburgers and they ate them right there. There is a tavern dog on the Oregon Coast who fishes for salmon in the middle of a creek. One time, he caught a steelhead and brought it up to the kitchen and the cooked it up for supper. There is a large poodle who sits on a stool in an Oregon tavern and salutes you with his paw when you enter. The best illustrated logo utilizing the image of a dog I have ever seen is from the Mad Dog Country Tavern in Newport, Oregon. In the design, a long-eared goofy mutt with his tongue hanging out is driving a speed boat with his left paw and hoisting a frothy mug of beer with his right. I used to rake leaves with my childhood dog and then we played football in the piles. He would follow me to grade school in the era where kids walked to school. Sometimes he would wait for me all day, but usually he went home. I had a woman break up with me because I had three big dogs. I had a woman suggest that my dogs could sleep in the truck when I came for an overnight visit; that was the last I ever saw of her. I had a prominent dog psychic contact me and say Sonny had contacted her out of concern for my welfare. I had dogs that would fling themselves against the garage door when I came home. I never had a girlfriend do that. Snoopy was an aspiring novelist who always began his novels: “It was a dark and stormy night. A shot rang out.” I used to read my manuscripts to my dogs. I never did that with a human. I once intervened in a domestic dispute but only for the sake of a dog. Abortion protesters never have dogs, at least that I have observed. I rarely saw homeless people with dogs 20 years ago. Now practically every homeless man or woman I encounter in the city and country has a dog. Why the change?
(If you found this post enjoyable, thought provoking or enlightening, please consider supporting a writer at work by making a financial contribution to this blog or by purchasing an NSP book.)