Don Bauder 9:40 p.m., May 21
No, it's not about the Iditarod. It's this, the most jaw-dropping thing I've seen on YouTube in a while:
Anybody here have a friend like that? I'm not sure I do.
Several years ago, I read a book called Animals as Guides for the Soul: Stories of Life-Changing Encounters. This video reminds me of that book a lot.
It's almost unimaginable that there are still people in this world who somehow manage to think of animals as inanimate objects, devoid of any real quality of consciousness, much less bravery or compassion. There is the philosophy that says the entire universe only mirrors ourselves back at us. Perhaps that's the explanation for such cluelessness. Could be.
Modern urbanites and suburbanites often have little contact with animals, outside a possible pet or two. We've become alienated from the creatures who provide most of us with our food in the form of their bodies, eggs, or milk. In McElroy's book, she relates many stories of the undeniable sentience of her farm animals and kindnesses shown by them to each other -- even the chickens, who clearly evince actual compassion at times.
I had a boyfriend once who claimed that an Old English Sheepdog had saved his life when he was five. Ran at him and knocked him out of the way of an oncoming car. Being a guarding breed, this isn't too surprising to me. When I was a kid, I had a little dog that would help me pull the sandburrs out of my pants and socks with his teeth. He just sat down next to me on the back step, and spontaneously started helping me pull them out.
Now, it's a cat that takes care of me, always watching the door while I sleep. It's most obvious when we're in a new place. Her preferred position is between me and the door, facing the door. My little watchcat.
On the other hand, as I write this she's leaning against a notebook that's pushing up against a folded piece of paper, and then marvelling at the fact that the paper is magically creeping up against the desk. She doesn't realize she's doing it herself.