We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I’m a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog, and lone; I’m a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own; I’m a bad dog, a mad dog, teasing silly sheep; I love to sit and bay the moon, to keep fat souls from sleep.
I’ll never be a lap dog, licking dirty feet, A sleek dog, a meek dog, cringing for my meat, Not for me the fireside, the well-filled plate, But shut door, and sharp stone, and cuff and kick, and hate.
Not for me the other dogs, running by my side, Some have run a short while, but none of them would bide. O mine is still the lone trail, the hard trail, the best, Wide wind, and wild stars, and hunger of the quest!
Thanks for this one, BD. This old curr appreciated the ode!
Since we’re on the subject, I have an old, unfixed, male Australian Shepherd. He’s a gorgeous Red Merle named River (green eyes with an unbroken white-collar. Gorgeous!), and he’s turned many a head in his day. But that’s not why I write.
I’m writing because many people do not realize all the roles that a good dog can play for the aware owner. Just one of the roles River has played over and over for me is the role of “diplomat.” Put another way, most of my rural neighbors know me by my dog. See, River likes to wander on occasion, and, as a new immigrant to rural Northern Arizona, most of my neighbors met River before they met me. As such, they could only rely on my dog’s demeanor to indicate my temperament.
Which worked great!
Many were the neighbors that said, “Oh, you have such a nice dog so we knew you had to be “nice,” too.” My head full of colliding cow-licks and my gardener’s dirty finger-nails tend to turn off the urban penny-loafer set you encounter in Flagstaff’s money-ed environs.
But, by virtue of meeting ol’ River first, new arrivals from such odd places as Rockfield, Illinois and New Jersey were willing to afford an old curr like me a second try-out!
Long story short: If you cannot afford a wife to smooth the way for you in your new community, then get a good dog instead. It's only an approximate proxy, but cheaper.