My mate Doug…
“Hell is other people” he said, that French bloke… but heaven is time on your own with your dog. Sometimes it’s just him lying there on the carpet, throwing the occasional glance my way. Sometimes it’s on a walk, him steaming ahead, a glance back to see that I’m still there. Sometimes we step into The Flour Pot, a café where he sits beneath the table checking all who enter. We like it there. Mostly it’s just the satisfying sense that we’re together, mates really.
We got locked out the other day – went for a walk and forgot our keys. Had to sit on the doorstep for about 40 minutes waiting on Gil to return. Doug sat coiled in my lap and fell asleep. We kept each other warm. A woman stopped, ‘Are you alright?’ she said…. ‘Never better’ was my reply…
There are times, on my own, when Doug brings his orange lama toy to me. It squeaks when he presses it in his jaw. I pull, he pulls, and we have a little tug of war. Then it comes free and I throw it to the other end of the room. He turns and zooms down to grab it, shakes it, and brings it to me. I haven’t really played for years, now I play every day and you know what… it’s OK to play.
He stole Gil's blusher the other day - chewed it to bits (see pic). She went mental but when she left the room we had a good laugh together. You see I also speak to him… a lot. Sure he hasn’t a clue what I’m saying but that’s not the point. The point is that I’m saying stuff I really mean, not that chit-chat you get between humans but the real deal – mate to mate.
At times Doug looks at me with his black eyes then tilt his head and we commune. I have no idea what’s in there but it’s something simple, nice and loving. There’s no narcissism in dogs… it’s more give than take. Descartes thought that dogs had no soul, no consciousness, just cold machines. Descartes was a damn fool. John Searle has four dogs Frege, Russell, Ludwig, Tarski... and he loves them, although, as he admits, they are all hopeless with logic.