The phrase “no one knows what the Nose knows” has a bit of history in my family and is a phrase that is probably best forgotten. However, today as I was out walking, I saw something that brought the phrase to mind. So, apologies to the old Nose, here is the story–today’s version of what the Nose knows.
So here comes this gorgeous black and white mid-size dog, walking proudly down the sidewalk, with her human in tow. The dog held her head high and sniffed the air to be sure all was well as she led her butler down the road (yes, I know this was not a cat, but I think dogs have butlers too). She was clearly the Nose, and rather proud of it. People moved out of her way as she strutted along confident that she had everything under control. The Nose knew exactly who she was and where she was going. It was truly a sight to behold.
So pardon me, my family, but the Nose today brought smiles and fond remembrance of phrases gone by.
Of course it’s always
about the cat, who saunters
softly through my life.
So many lost cats
and dogs who can’t find their home
and humans crying.
Today I stopped in at a local pet store to get something for my cat. I was in line to checkout behind this dog and its payment person. The cart was full of dog food and one treat. As the payment person did her thing, the dog was just plain all-over happy. Tail wagging so hard it almost knocked it down. Jumping up to make sure the dog food was really in the cart. Whirling around to make sure no other pooch was going to try to steal the food. More happy tail and bouncing.
Good thing I hadn’t brought the cat. She would have been oh so disdainful of all this happy (and perhaps secretly a bit jealous, because it really looked like fun).
Just another moment at the dog-mart. You can’t help loving it.
The dog days have come.
Welcome excuses for naps
with cats between storms.
As I drive around my neighborhood (or walk if I am feeling energetic), I notice the dogs and cats that are my neighbors. And I think I discovered something about them. It is entirely possible that others have already made this discovery, and/or that I myself have already pointed out the discovery. However, because I am now almost on the edge of being not only a cat lady but also a dog lady, I am paying a great deal of attention to cats and dogs.
My discovery? Dogs are optimists, and cats are pessimists.
All you have to do is look at a dog. Riding (or driving) a car. Chasing a ball. Walking on a leash. Whatever. The dog clearly has everything to look forward to, and knows there will be no disappointment. Dogs sit in the hallways to doors, knowing without a doubt that someone will come along with a leash and be an escort for walks. Dogs are absolutely certain that when they hop on to the passenger seat, they will eventually have an opportunity to be on the driver’s seat to make the order at their locals. Dogs smile because they know the world is made for them. Watch a dog at play, and you have to be happy–they seem to be doing it all for you. They make you part of their life and assume that you will return the favor.
Cats are a bit different. They pretend to aloofness. They are not sure that someone will come to the door immediately to let them in or out. Underneath all of the “I am the best, treat me like the king or queen that I clearly am” persona, cats are a bit worried about their reception. Humans cannot be counted on to attend to the cats’ every need or to admire what is clearly a top of the line being. Cats don’t just raise their eyebrows, looking askance, if you don’t meet expectations, they throw a hissy fit. They also have a bit of an attitude problem which can bring on what they always knew was going to happen–their dreams will not come true. Cats are, in my view, among the sweetest of creatures, but it is not clear that they want you to know it. Cats can be content and purring. But they make no assumptions that you will return the feelings. They make you a part of their life, but expect nothing more than a servant would provide. Or at least that is the pretense.
So perhaps the path to a happy life has a cat or two and a dog or two walking with you. Dogs can teach cats how to think positively and expect the best and cats can teach dogs how to remain a little aloof and pretend disfavor if the best is a little late. A little optimist and a little pessimist. Teaching love. Sounds like a plan.
Yesterday, I had a dog for an hour or so. I must admit that there was a wonderful feeling of contentment when my dog came up to me and followed me into my back yard. I have never “owned” a dog before, but now I see the attraction. Here’s the story.
I drove home after picking up books at the library to take to storage for our library book sale and was organizing said books into various boxes (fiction, nonfiction, kid books, etc) when I looked up and saw this beautiful dog staring at me from my neighbor’s yard. These neighbors are also cat people and I had never seen this dog before. He was a very large dog, and to a non-dog person looked like a giant husky. Black face and white body with other markings. He and I looked at each other and I swear the dog smiled. He moved slowly toward me and I saw that his hips and legs were not completely under his control. I thought immediately that he had been hit by a car. I looked up and down my street as he came forward and there was no owner in sight. So I said “hi, babe” (even though for whatever reason, I call him he”) and smiled right back at him. He picked up a little speed and before I knew it, he and I were best friends forever. I rubbed his brow and he rubbed my leg. Still no owner, but this was clearly an old dog and very infirm. Up close, his legs did not show evidence of a recent accident, but were more like advanced arthritis that had caused the legs to turn inward. Anyway, we smiled at each other and rubbed, and I started walking around the side of my house toward the gate to my back yard, and this most marvelous creature followed me closely all the way back and through the gate into the yard. I went in and got him a big dish of water and he drank a bit as I watched. But, now what?
I belong to Nextdoor, a computer thing that allows messages to be sent to surrounding neighborhoods, so I posted a message that I had found a dog, and included his picture. No responses came in, so I called SCRAPS, our local animal protection group, and explained that I had found this dog (actually, he found me) but that I could not keep him and could they help him? Yes, they could. A super lady came within an hour and she and the dog walked happily off to the truck (after she was able to get him back on his feet–he had decided to lay down for a nice nap and could not get up). And just like that, my dog was gone. I called later and was told that SCRAPS was taking my dog to the vet to see about fixing up his rear legs. Perhaps his owners will think to call them. The super lady had said that he might have been frightened by a severe thunderstorm we had the night before and worked loose. If that is not the case, then it is my hope that the dog will find a new home where the people will take really good care of this marvelous creature.
So, now I know a little bit about life with dog. I simply cannot forget that peaceful feeling of having dog keep me company on that short walk.
Here is Dog.