Of Dogs and Men

This unexpected (it took me by surprise) post is dedicated to our hardworking video guy, Vlad and to his canine companion. Vlad loves his magnificent dog so much that sometimes I am tempted to get one myself… and I’m not even a dog person.

This is also dedicated to Sugar, a dog who was recently and somewhat reluctantly acquired by one of our readers. William hadn’t planned on sharing his living quarters with this rambunctious demanding critter, but sometimes life leads us where we’d rather not go.

In this case, Sugar is leading her new owner toward getting well, which heartens me greatly. He’s been under doctors’ orders for some time to “get more exercise” to strengthen his failing heart. “Go walking”, they said. So William would faithfully follow the program until it became so tediously boring and painful that when it repeatedly dropped off his daily routine it would be a week before he even noticed. Another facepalm moment: he’d realize he’d stopped walking. Again. And yet again.

That changed dramatically when Sugar showed up, thrust into his life unexpectedly by circumstances in his extended family. Well, when a dog arrives, what happens? I mean besides having your slippers thoroughly chewed? As surely as the day follows the night, a dog’s gotta walk. So when Sugar arrived, not only was she beguiling, she also began to lead William out for walks. It wasn’t long before they arrived at a farther place than he’d ever been able to manage on his own and they were doing it every single day. Now they’re gradually building up a healthy twice-a-day walking regimen that will save William’s life.

I am most grateful to Sugar.

So it was that I thought of Vlad and William when I saw this video [hat tip Andrea Shea King]. It’s gotten over four million hits, so you may have seen it already. And I’ll bet a lot of those four million views are from dog lovers just hitting replay for the sheer pleasure of watching these dogs work/play.

That Rube Goldberg contraption is delightful, as is its final message. Yet you can’t help but notice those dogs worked hard to pull that off. Or, rather, to make his or her own small part work. See how dogs meld work and play seamlessly?

That thought reminded me of a book on working dogs:

What the Dog Knows: The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs

This is a book about dogs written by a woman named Cat.

One of the blurbs, by an evolutionary anthropologist says:

Cat Warren has captured both the magic and the best science behind the success of the modern working dog. This book masterfully shows how even the best technology cannot compete with our best friends. If you have ever wondered what dogs are truly capable of this is the book for you.

Winter’s coming on. Time to curl up with your dog and read something warming. Every so often you can glance over at your friend, curled up next to you, or spread out on the floor snoring and giving an occasional twitch of his legs as he runs in the fields of summer in his dreams.

In a little while he will need a walk and you will need to find your shoes. I hope they didn’t meet the same end as your slippers.

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NOTE: I had started out to compose a post on Obamacare, but my heart wasn’t in it. Such a nightmare situation that it’s hard to wrap one’s mind around it.

Then a little while ago, the Baron came downstairs and said he was absolutely overwhelmed with work which meant he wouldn’t be able to get a post up this evening. We’ve been out all day in town, with doctors (routine follow-up) and grocery shopping. Then we actually got tied up in traffic. That’s rare around these parts, but it appeared to be a logging truck that had jack-knifed. As a result what is normally an hour’s ride home was more than two…

In other words, the Baron was up to his ears in overwhelm while I was lolling about, watching this video and thinking about Vlad and William and wishing I were a dog person as I began this reflection. “Well”, I said, “maybe it’s time for a break from all the sturm and drang? Maybe a little post about dogs?”

Now I see Gates of Vienna is down again…oh my. The gods of the intertubes are lining up and frowning… And now it’s come back up again…

2 thoughts on “Of Dogs and Men

  1. Just to let you know we are here (or at least I am), wishing you well and praying for you. I hope this isn’t some new level of attack from the enemies of freedom and basic human rights.

  2. Thank you. It’s strange, this “new level of attack”. But fortunately, they may be figuring out a work-around very soon.

    I’m thinking it may be some of the same haters who send Geert Wilders death threats. And since we support Mr. Wilders, then…

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