Saturday with Shutter – Needful Things
It was cool on Saturday. Much cooler than I had expected. But the sun did however, occasionally peek out from behind its cumuli nimbus cloak just enough to make it a rather pleasant afternoon. So I gathered up my pack, barked the appropriate instructions to my human servant and we headed out for the park. As soon as the leashes came out Reese in her youth could hardly contain her excitement. She began by spinning in circles followed closely by a series of hi pitched yips and barks that all to clearly expressed her approval at the prospect of going “bye-bye”. Try as I might she has not yet grasped the concept that in order for the pack to maintain our position of dominance within this dog/man hierarchical system we have established, our human servant must always believe that these trips to the park are for his benefit. That he should be thankful we are willing to join him.
Porthos has not yet grasped all of the cleverly concealed motions and gestures I use to keep our human servant moving in the right direction but the boy has come a long way in the last month. Just yesterday for instance, I observed him touching our human servant on the back of the leg as he walked through the kitchen area. Porthos is a pretty bright kid. He has already realized that a cold nose applied to a bare leg, and administered at just the right time, will often produce the desired results. I have used this tactic many times and found it quite effective in obtaining treats or getting my human servant to throw the ball almost on command.
Anyway, back to the park. There are two fenced in areas at the dog park. A smaller one for breeds like Reese, Porthos, and myself who can attain great speeds in relatively short distances. And a much more spacious one for large breed dogs that require a significant amount of runway in order for their massive hulks to attain any meaningful momentum. I myself prefer the more spacious area to the smaller one because I have a lot of energy to burn and the large area allows me to go at full speed for longer periods. But because this was Porthos’ first trip to the park and he is still very small, I opted for the smaller area so that he might better keep up with Reese and myself.
As it is Fall here now we discovered all manner of uncommon items in our little play area. Crispy brown and gold leaves littered the ground and the occasional piece of corn stalk had also blown in from a nearby field. So as my human servant threw the ball for us repeatedly and we set off as a pack in hot pursuit, Porthos would occasionally lose focus on the task at hand and wander away in the direction of some piece of passing foliage. Not that either one of them ever had a prayer of beating me to this red spherical projectile anyway. My perfectly formed high speed low drag body easily allows me to out distance them. Though credit must be given where credit is due, this still never deters Reeseeand Porthos from making every effort anyway.
Speaking of my ball, you humans certainly have a tendency to accumulate things. As I look around our tiny little home I see a set of shelves with photos, books, and movies inhabiting every nook and cranny. About a half a dozen or so sticks of other furniture, some of which we never use and seem to serve no other purpose than to accumulate more items. There are also boxes of other things in the next room my human servant hasn’t unpacked because he simply can’t part with but has nowhere to put them. Curious that. We dogs have few needs for such things. I have my food bowel, a necessity, my red ball, a knotted rope for chewing, and a partially consumed Frisbee who’s aerodynamics have been forever altered by the occasional game of tug-o-war between me and my siblings. And that is all save for my collar and leash. You know… needful things.
We dogs we care about moments, not stuff. Every day for us is just one more great adventure. We don’t even care what you are doing, we just want to be apart. Except for maybe the vacuum anyway, that things possessed. My human servant says it’s because we are childlike. That we are always looking at things with new eyes. He says we treat every experience like it is the first and possibly the last time it will ever happen. To this I say, Duh! Our time on this little rock is a horribly short proposition. Barely a blink when compared to the four and a half billion years its already been orbiting the sun. Still you walk around all day looking down at your phones or staring into a screen on a desk oblivious to nearly anyone or anything around you.
Now I realize I shouldn’t generalize you humans that way. It’s not fair really. We dogs have been on the receiving end of that for years now. If you don’t believe me just ask a Pit-Bull. Take my advice, put down the Ho-Ho’s, get out from in front of your computer and get outside. Go for a walk, ride your bike, play in the garden, have a conversation that doesn’t involve a text message, Blue Tooth or Skype. You get one trip through this mortal coil so don’t waste it.
Well gotta go now. Reese, Porthos and I have nineteen trips to make up and down the hallway at full speed before nap time.
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