Now please hear this, dog-lovers.
You for whom Summer is a clarion call to drag your enslaved quadruped to public parks in the hope that you may pimp him to a potential mate similarly compromised by puppy love.
Or perhaps you have given birth to a ‘family dog’ who will enjoy the privilege of reflecting a family unit’s smugness, representing to less fortunate onlookers the Western ideal of nuclear domesticity.
Do not stop to analyse the grotesque sentimentalility that has yielded to the arbitrary appropriation of one of a million bestial species as a possession over which to exorcise your primordial urge to dominate.
You do not need to spare a thought for the mutt whom you have fashioned a breathing repository for your thwarted fawning.
You will barely have the time with all that exercise you are getting, whereby you leave the house every day carrying a long sticky thing that circumvents the need for you to bend over and pick up the bacterial ball your super-intelligent hunk of hair wishes endlessly to hunt down.
You will be too busy relishing the company he freely offers, the more welcome for its unchallenging nature, which absolves you from engaging with a sentient being who can answer back.
Your argument that Fido is trying to talk to you is cogent; it would be quite wrong to suspect he may be saying anything that could hinder your innate right to wholly manage the one-sided relationship you have gifted him: ‘Fuck off. Walk your husband.’
Right you are when you whimper (not unlike your subjugated canine) that he teaches the kids how to deal with caring and love and death. It would have been a valuable lesson for Genghis Khan shortly before he started twisting the heads off baby birds and is probably just as necessary for average Junior, even if he does have an ailing grandparent on which to practice.
It is indeed perfectly healthy to project the intrinsically complicated physiological state of love onto a creature with whom you will never exchange a single generative idea, whilst flexing your muscles at the dinner table in the benevolent decision over whether to treat it to a morsel of dead carcass from a fellow, less adorable member of the animal kingdom.
I too would feel valued if put on a leash and patronised into the sort of obedience that will stop me wee-ing in the house where all the other respected creatures are welcome to wee.
I too would be delighted to sport humorous apparel on my already-insulated animal body.
Rover is loyal because he thinks you are a person of unique specialness, not because he is reliant on you to nourish him with doggy bone treats and to take him to preposterously expensive veterinary surgeons in order to prevent him from having his entirely natural wicked way with the next door neighbour’s captive mute beast.
In no way is he suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, having been suffocated with surplus unprocessed emotion, expectation and nostalgia from the very first day he was indoctrinated with the belief that he enjoys nothing better than curling up on your bed at night, listening to you snoring.
You are allowed to laugh at Paris Hilton with her hand-bag rat-fink because your choice of a dog says nothing whatsoever about you and was in no way selected because he has short hair/long legs/pleading eyes/ child-biting attributes.
It is perfectly hygienic to live alongside a moulting, scratching, salivating creature who favours smelling unclean underwear and who sicks up objects it has been obliged to accidentally ingest in the process of wandering within the protective walls of an alien environment.
There is nothing remotely odd about taking a small ice-cream shovel and orange plastic bag to dispose of the waste products its creator’s comrades dream of eating and which, if abandoned, could attain the honour of helping a frolicking child lose their sight.
It would be inappropriate to take your ‘best friend’ to those nasty zoos- the ones that have the integrity to admit that animals are a different species and, as such, are interesting to watch in a voyeuristic, non-interactive capacity.
But if you did you would be sure to treat him as your equal and the caged freak shows’ superior because he is so very clever and enjoys your unchecked devotion: ‘Shall we go and gawp at those ditzy giraffes next, me old mate?’
Absolutely you should waggle your finger censoriously when your neighbour and fellow human describes the sensitive love-making he enjoys with his daschund because whilst there can be no more natural amorous expression towards one’s object of affection it is a line you would never cross with an ‘unconsenting animal’ (the same one whose daily routine you minutely dictate and whom you regularly treat as a surrogate partner).
If, God forbid, one day you are faced with the departure of your dutiful woofums or decide you can no longer be arsed to look after him please do not start disappearing into Marginal Pet Territory- that soul-destroying arena where creatures languish on the low-maintenance/dull as ditch-water axis: fish, hamster, tortoise, ‘independent’ cat.
Because it is not enough for puppies to have velvet ears and sweet faces and adorable tail-wagging abilities.
They need you to name them, train them and own them, uncannily certain in the knowledge that the spectacle of you doing so will always be an edifying experience for dog-lover lovers like me.