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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sunset Velvet Head, Twinkie and Bingo Bango

These are just some of the names Jeff and I have made up for Singer. We’ve spoiled her greatly and love her so much. Does this mean she is a “dependent” and we are “the government” because we provide her with food, shelter and love? In other words, is she part of the “47% who don’t pay taxes”? Yes, I guess she is. When I started this blog, I promised myself I wouldn’t get political, but these times are just too compelling not to weigh in. Sorry about breaking my promise.

Dakota, too, is part of this crowd, a “moocher” as the media is calling these people. They were originally described as people who don’t pay income taxes by Governor Romney, and so therefore not of his concern in getting elected. His argument is so full of flaws, I won’t go into it, but suffice it to say, I don’t agree with him. So what does this have to do with my pets, or anyone’s pets? I think there are some distinct parallels. Pets are like are our dependents, yes? And they don’t pay taxes and sometimes act like “victims”. But do they really become so passive and just lie around waiting to be fed? I don’t think so. Take Dakota, for example.  Every morning he meows at about 5:30 in the morning to get our lazy butts out of bed. He sounds like a cranky drill sergeant and sometimes even makes his meow lower by a few registers for dramatic effect. He deserves an Oscar for the emotion he puts into it. Sometimes I can coax him up to the bed and I pet him while holding him down. But he soon breaks out of my arms and goes right back to his “job”—which is to get us out of bed!  I would argue that he isn’t being driven by a “victim” mentality, but he is motivated by a sense of entitlement, that’s for sure. And who can blame him, if he’s hungry, to want us to get up and feed him? But he is uncompromising about the time—can’t he just let us sleep a little longer? Please?

Singer takes a more assertive approach, also without a “victim mentality”—she paws my face until I get up and let her out. She doesn’t wait around or whine or bark, she just gets in my face, literally. But somehow, I don’t mind that approach as much. I can’t tell you why, exactly, but to get a scratchy paw in the face just seems preferable to a mournful meow that swoops low like the resinous sounds of a cello. The sound is grating, to say the least. More than once I’ve imagined throwing something at him to shut him up. So, to carry the analogy further, I guess we find people who “complain” about their circumstances more annoying than those who “get in our face” about it, right? Is it okay to become aggressive but not complain? Wait, that’s not right, either. Back to the drawing board:  we’re all dependent on one another and our pets expect a certain amount of care from us, just as our children or others who are dependent on us do. And I guess it’s up to us to work together with them to decide just how much we can do.

Now back to my original thesis—Sunset velvet head, twinkie and bingo bango, these are all terms of endearment that we didn’t just dream up out of thin air and apply to an empty vessel. They are inspired appellations because of the love we feel coming from our loving dog, whose essence of devotion, love, loyalty, fealty is real and of value. The same goes for Dakota, whose purring soft love pours out of him like a reliable engine. They are not takers, they are givers.