I never cared much for dogs and I never cared much for Jackson Pollock. But I met this Samoyed, a pure white northern breed, this bristling mass of fur designed to keep Eskimo kids warm on long winter nights.
So, this is about a dog.
Of course, dog is our term for him. He doesn’t call himself that. He doesn’t perceive himself as a special species, separate from humans and antelopes and flukeworms. I don’t think he does, anyway. Who knows what he knows?
But maybe that is the attraction. Billions of people feel this crazy hypnotic love for dogs. And that’s just the women in Manhattan. It comes down to the purity of a lack of self-perception. The guileless devotion opening up a deep sluice for love to flow through. A helpless un-self consciousness mixed with superhuman powers of smell and hearing mixed with devotion unbounded by limits. It slays. The same is true for babies, of course, but that one has the benefit of a million-year biological imperative driving it.
Anyway, I never succumbed to the hypnotic love for dogs. In fact, I found the barking of dogs profoundly unsettling, as if the shrieks from dogs’ throats conjured past life memories of some concentration camp demise. And I couldn’t fathom those who actually took the time to write or wax starry-eyed about a dog. But I met this Samoyed named after Jackson Pollock. He high jumps all over you when you show up, his excitement for you is so dizzying. And he lumbers next to you, a royal mountain of white hair that causes gasps as you walk down the street.
He still barks, it should be noted, especially at inopportune times, but the bark has lost its bite. And he is a thoroughly non-marketing creature. He lives in a reality either before or beyond language and meanings, so he is immune to the symbolic manipulation of meanings. Unlike us in the sponsored world, we of the separate species who give names to everyone and everything.
So he will never read this. Nor will his friends at the dog run email this to him. I’ll just give him a biscuit next time I see him. After he calms down.