The Dog I Am & The Dog I Want to Be
October 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
As you know, Mr. H and I have two dogs, A and O. They are brothers and behave very much like human ones. While presenting a united front against Management on the most pressing issues of their lives (going outside in the rain, toy demands, choice of food, furniture privileges…the list goes on), they also deliberately do things to annoy and upset each other. And yet, when one of them is not around for one reason or another, the other is falls into a mild state of panic.
On some days, they remind me of the Winklevoss twins as portrayed in that Facebook movie — without the lawsuit. (So far, at least.) Observing their “twoness” is one of the great pleasures in my life. And getting to know them as I have over the last two years, I have also come to find their many differences hilarious and kind of fascinating.
Exhibit 1: O-Dog
O-Dog is a true New Yorker. He’s beyond neurotic, complains incessantly and is appalled by the many injustices in this (dog) world. He always manages to look well turned out, hates pigeons and does not like to be told what to do. (He does it anyway…more grist for the Complaint Mill. So New York.) But deep down, O is a really just a sweet fellow who simply wants to be understood and appreciated for who he is. And I do, since I can’t help but notice that he is really an awful lot like me. It almost goes without saying: I cut him quite a bit a slack.
A-Dog is like Wynton Marsalis or the guy everyone loved in your fraternity: Confident, affable, kind of magical. He isn’t trying. He just is. Therefore, dude manages to look great even when his fur is a disaster or he’s half asleep. He’s comfortable wherever he finds himself and nothing — except horses — bothers him. Step on his paw? No biggie. Take his rawhide? He’ll find something else to do. He’s the Top Dog, so as long as you know that, it’s all cool. Who could not find that rather beguiling? Frankly, I admire him and would be pretty pleased with myself if I could be more like him in the Human World.
I know this is a lot of space to devote to my dogs. But, if you haven’t figured it out, I love them tremendously. Not just because they are all the excellent things that dogs are, including lovable. It’s also because they remind me to go easy on myself for the way I am, and to keep trying to be a little bit more of how I would like to be.