I have a friend who had a little mongrel dog as a pet. The dog was a family pet and to my understanding was in no way mistreated or neglected. To the contrary, it was loved and cared for.
Now there is always more than one side to any story but for some unknown reason(s) this dog upped and moved across the road to a neighbour – lock, stock, and barrel. The dog now struts around in the street outside like a bantam-cock yapping at all who pass by as if it owned the whole suburb.
How and why did this happen? I really cannot say. Whether the neighbour lured the dog over with more delectable food titbits or pampered the dog, convincing it into deciding to cross over and switch affection, allegiances and devotion and even as a result now into co-habiting with the neighbour will probably never be known. But there we have it. The deed is done and the results speak for themselves.
Now the dog even barks at my friend and his family (along with all the other people in the street) when they leave or return from their homes. It seems to have taken on a new sense of territorial responsibility for the street and surrounding environment and makes its presence felt in no uncertain terms. Sometimes the only way to get the dog to remain silent is to actually charge at it, yelling in a threatening way so that the little mutt retreats hastily into the safety and privacy of its new home with its tail between its miniature legs. This only works for a short time and as soon as it feels the coast is clear once again it struts out and the yapping starts all over.
One thing does seem apparent though, and that is that the dog doesn’t seem to have a sleepless night over any of this. It’s business as usual and life goes on. I often wonder what it does think actually (if it thinks about it at all that is). Does the dog think about commitment and past affection? Do the concepts of loyalty, responsibility or the feelings of the ex-cohabitants ever enter into the equation in its mind? Perhaps it’s simply a matter of whatever is directly beneficial to the dog at any given moment that is the key or even sole factor in any of this?
But what am I thinking? … this is a dog for goodness sake! Dogs don’t have a higher sense of conscience. They are brute beasts. They can’t think about their thinking like humans do, … can they? They are driven purely by beastly instinct and unbridled self-preservation. Not so?
Interestingly the neighbour also seems to see nothing wrong at all with the current state of affairs and can be heard lovingly calling the mutt for food and left-overs and in the evening for the dog to come in for bedtime. The neighbour also seems naturally content, even happy and at ease with the little mongrel bustling playfully around at their feet whilst they are working in the garden or doing chores outside. The neighbour even greets my friend and his family warmly whenever their eyes meet, even whilst the dog is there in plain view and even sometimes when yapping at my friend and his family. It would also appear that the neighbour too seems not to lose any sleep over the turn of events and the shift in allegiance.
Strange creatures these … aren’t they?
I have another friend who has a wife and two delightful and beautiful children.
He recently left home and family and now has a very young lady lover.