Posted by Dale:
Hello, all. I'm assuming no one will ever read this. My main purpose in creating this blog is to give my friends some relief from my constant obsession with my dog, Sancha. At times I think my feelings for this dog are completely abnormal (no, nothing perverse). I just love her more than I can handle sometimes. I look over and she is so adorable and sweet and funny and velvety...I imagine that people with children know what this feels like. I have tried to philosophize more deeply as to what I love so much about dogs--I think it is mostly how easy it is to make them totally, blissfully, uncomplicatedly happy. All I have to do to send her into complete euphoria is grab the leash, take out the dog food can, or get distracted near a dropped chicken wing when we're on a walk. Her joy is so complete and uncomplicated--or at least that's how I like to project it. She may be having deep complicated ambiguous emotions, but I don't want to know.
Also, and this is pretty egotistical (and why I probably shouldn't have children), but I love how openly she (sometimes) needs me. Like when there's thunder and she tries to achieve maximum square inch body contact. Or how happy she is when I come home, which is just about the most stereotypical compliment of dogs, but come home after a hard day to a house of cats and you'll know that it can't be underestimated.
I took Sancha to the dog park the other day and there were a bunch of owners talking about their dogs and the tricks they have for training them, swapping advice about trainers and tricks and rewards and punishments...and it occurred to me that all these people have a totally different relationship with their dogs than I do. They are like parents and kids, a clearly hierarchical relationship. I imagine this is how it is "supposed" to be--establishing the pack order, alpha male and subordinates, blah blah blah. I don't want to be an alpha anything. I see Sancha as a colleague or a spouse (again, nothing perverse). I think about her feelings when I make decisions, I talk to her, she considers my thoughts and feelings (at least in my projections of her thoughts about my thoughts). I don't want to teach her to shake or sit. I didn't plan this all out when I named her, but it really is like the relationship between Don Quijote and Sancho Panza, at least as I read it. Nominally Don Quijote is the master and Panza the servant, and yes, DQ gets the horse and SP the mule, yes occasionally DQ reminds SP of his place in life...but 99% of the time, especially when nobody else is around, they are inseparable friends.
At least if my relation with Sancha makes me a nutcase, I am in good literary company. (What moorish historian might be blogging about us right now?)