Much like all of non-human nature, I learn a lot from my dog.
I learn the value of rest, the simple bliss experienced at the touch of another creature, how to properly greet someone I haven’t seen all day (or for ten minutes), and how to really revel in the delight of dinnertime – spilling the contents of my bowl everywhere. A happy, joyous, slob. And, thanks to the joint effort of Youtube and other animals not my own, I can now start adding to that list via these randomly captured incidents. And you can too.
So grab your steno and a pen.
Off we go.
1. WE CAN BE CONFIDENT *AND* KOWTOW – EVEN AS THE BLACK SHEEP.
This boxer looks like he’s outmatched. At first.
He’s not a cow. He’s the only dog in this crowd. He could cower, lower his head, run away, get violent and wish he was an actual boxer capable of fighting off these burgers to be as they close in on him like a scene from Resident Evil. But he does none’a that. Instead, he roots his lower body to the earth – humbly, holds his head high – proudly, wags his tail like a peace flag, and says – “Come at me, bovine!” And they all come to sniff him and investigate and be friendly while he lets them take a canine tour of him with their snouts. Amazing that animals don’t discriminate until they’ve been harmed by another creature. Even then, they (dogs, at least) can be retrained to see that one experience isn’t what all people, badgers, or robotic floor vacuums are like.
We’re a tougher sell. But we don’t hafta be. (Are you taking notes?)
2.CLEANING UP OUR OWN IMAGE
It’s hard to recall – in an age of sharing everything online – what privacy means.
We voluntarily sacrifice it to stay relevant. We give out information not only in status updates, but other places on the web – just to read a stupid article or access a specific page (“Take this quick survey first!”) Who’s getting that information? What are they doing with the lie I just told in that survey? If we had a Jiminy Cricket, would he put a hand on our shoulder every time we shared online? Would he say “Don’t post that, bro”…? In a way, this fox is a perfect example of how we should take our privacy back. Snatch up that camera we’ve put on ourselves to broadcast online. Lick the lens. Get a good look at ourselves through a third person recording. What would you think about you if you were an employer or grandma and saw that post/picture/shared meme?
3. OBEYING OUR OWN BIOLOGY
I’m not sure if dogs follow the blue/amber light rule and its neurological effects.
But I bet if they did, and if they kept online sans f.lux till several hours past sunset, this video wouldn’t happen in the morning. You’d be clinging coffee, nudging them sleepily with your slipper, and getting a grimace-y “five more minutes” grumble-growl along with a “I can WAIT to pee” followed by a “Can I just wear Depends?” five more minutes later. Dogs wake up when it’s time to wake up – and we do too when we don’t punish our biological chemistry with artificial stimulants. An experiment with technology stripped campers in the wilderness showed the same wake up time as these bright eyed and waggy tailed dogs. Try it out for a week. End technology use early (or get f.lux). See if you don’t feel a bit better. Or at least start beating the alarm chime.
4. WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY
(The good part’s about 1:45 in if you’re impatient like me.)
These cages are meant to prevent you from having a premature, aqueous grave in the oceanic depths. But, then again, so was the Titanic. The difference when you’re imprisoned with a sentient, sanguine craving sea monster of Spielberg proportions, is that you can’t just hang onto a board and die of hypothermia holding Leonardo DiCaprio’s hand. But let’s not be selfish here. Let’s think outside ourselves. What about the shark? Nicotating eye membrane? (Sounds like a product you’d see – pardon the pun – after the Tobacco and optometry industry merged – “Try these Camel contact lenses! Now you can have your fix ALL day long!”) Contrarily, it means he can’t see at all ‘cause he just nommed that floating meat and his eyes cover themselves – presumably to self-protect – when he does this. That’s what sent him careening into that cage. And even though Great Whites can’t put on the white lights and reverse, homie still managed to bust the cage open and break himself free. You could look at this as “he inadvertently found a way into an unbreakable cage” the same way an elephant learns that measly rope can’t hold them back. Or you could look at it as, “these guys don’t know how to beeeeep-beeep backwards, and he found an out anyway.” Either way you look at it, your flaws can be overcome by diving in headfirst – even when you’re blind. And learning new escape skills once you’re already in the shit (that’s a military term I just learned recently.) Just hafta have the right motivation.
And, finally, a hopeful teddy bear tale to put this list to rest.
’cause I say lotsa what’s wrong but don’t spotlight good deeds enough.
So, here’s one where the human animals show us other ones how it’s done:
5. GIVING THE NEEDY A HELPING HAND – OR LADDER
You know that whole Sodom and Gomorrah allegory in that one interpretache of god’s chronicles? It wasn’t meant to be about what happens in the company of twinks or bears. It was more about what you see with these bears. Less about homosexuality and more about helping. Unlike these kind (and kinda brave) people, the people in that story were condemned for being “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” That’s what getsya “done away with”. I thus feel like we should focus less on who’s filling what nether holes… and more on the whole of humanity filling everyone’s holy holes – as in – spiritual voids. ’cause it fills ours too when we do that.
Regardless of their species, creed, race, religion, education, or wealth level.