I am a dog person. I like their playful innocence and adorable artlessness. And I still believe all dogs go to heaven because of their innate goodness that brings joy to our overtly complexed human life. Also, dogs and humans have been living together for about 15,000 years as family members. Remember Argos, the loyal dog of Odyssey, who was the only one who recognized his old master in rags and tatters? Also, there were the dogs who saved the lives of soldiers during historical manmade wars in the expanse of their own lives. So, if the circumstances give me the green light, I would love to have a dog at home. Who wouldn’t anyway?
Then, given the express affection toward the canine race, how could my living with a cat be explained? The truth is still a mystery as I still can’t believe I have Toro, an 11-week old male tabby I adopted from a shelter two weeks ago, at home with me all the time except when I am at work. Toro, which is a masculine form of ‘Tora”, meaning a tiger in Japanese, is a curious paradox of a beast; he is a little cutie with lovely big green eyes but shows all the characteristics of a predator just like his wild cousins. Toro shows he will grow into a formidable hunter contrary to his small and thin body with acute audibility and olfaction. Watching Toro playing with toys and the frills at the bottom of my skirts fluttering underneath the chairs, I wonder if Toro will turn out to be a Gremlin one day when I wake up in the morning. But his cuteness dominates fear, and he likes to sit on my laps when he feels like it. Toro seems to have crafted Ovid’s the Art of Love with innately feline caprice and whims turning it into an irresistible magic spell. What a kitty.
Toro and I moved from the pastoral Ventura County to the heart of Los Angeles during the inferno heatwave of the labor weekend. We both suffered a sense of vertigo in new urban surroundings and a little bit quizzical about how we should adopt to smaller spaces in an apartment. Maybe Toro doesn’t like our new den because he does not wake me up by climbing on my back and meowing in the morning any longer. Besides, he seems to suddenly develop attention deficiency by frequently stalking, jumping, scratching, and biting. Worse still, Toro hissed a lot and aloud for the last two days. Although I force myself to think that it’s due to the diabolical heatwave, I cannot stitch up a little hole in my heart to the immaculate condition.
Freud said the time spent with cats is never wasted. I want to believe it even if these days I spend most of the time tending Toro, instead of reading and writing. Certainly, unconditional love toward a living thing is noble and esteemed. Yet the Bard sums my state of mind thus: “Love sought is good but love unsought is better.” Still, there is a long way ahead of us to live according to the natures of our different species. Our inclinations are contralateral as our needs are egotistical for our own ends of the survival of the species. If so, then let it be – with pleasure.
Maybe, I am more feline than my kitten. Who knows? Meow.
Although it was an icy Sunday with a frequent scatter of snow today, which was a typical climatic tendency on the east coast, the home of Mr. Sato’s young family was cozy and nice with a fireplace, a rocking chair, a comfy set of sofa, and a TV set.
Meet the Sato family from Japan, who have recently arrived in Charlottestown, a neighboring town of Avonlea. In spite of a different cultural setting, the Sato family fit right into the lifestyle and cultural mode of a new environment thanks much to their civil decorum, playful nature, and diligence work ethics that are universal virtues transcending the subjectivity of time and territorial boundaries.
The Sato are a young, budding family with Mr. Sato himself, Michiko, his pretty wife, and 2 adorable little sons, Hideo and Yuki who are the apples of their eyes. Perhaps they may reside in Chalottestown permanently after Mr. Sato completes his term in the office. However different decision Mr. Sato will make, the family bound by love, understanding, and support will not be deterred by any existential difficulties of life and remain strong and be a bedrock of what a family should be in times of trouble.
Reading this book is like listening to Mr. Paulsen’s tale of wondrous dogs he has encountered in his life: His colloquial English writing style is all the more realistic and straightforwardly addressed to readers’ hearts, leaving strong imprints in their minds without elaborate metaphor. Mr. Paulsen introduces his readers to the dogs that have provided his life with compassion, loyalty, faithfulness, and joy, the virtues which only humans are thought to be endowed with. Take Ike, the black Lab who appeared out of the blue to console the author’s lonely heart and become a good friend; and Josh, an incredibly smart and remarkably faithful Border Collie, who was not only a good herding dog but also a loyal friend. I would dare say that these wonder dogs were his saving grace that helped him to find his calling as a fine American writer.
Ted Kerasote’s book on his freethinking dog Merle is filled with his extensive knowledge on the wildlife and humorous episodes with his canine buddy Merle, who reminds me of Snoopy in his independent character and individual personality. I am enthralled by the way he and Merle communicated to each other, which I find scintillating. The author has a unique way with a dog as if he were his real buddy and/or partner in performing any daily tasks together. Such human-canine bond seems primordial and endemic in an environment where the world of the wildlife is paraded within arm’s reach. In sum, reading this book will enlighten you on how a human-canine relationship can evolve with lots of smiles and tears.
What I like about this book is its simplicity in defining a human-canine relationship devoid of complex training regime and overtly enforced ethical overtones on animal rights and so forth. Also, I can’t agree more to the following perspectives of the author as a kindred spirit: (1) Rather than relying heavily on professional training advice from books and the media, being a trainer of my own by observing and understanding my dog works the best; (2) being a “rational” dog-lover, who does not make moral/ethical decisions on the behaviors/fate of my dog, is a way of respecting my dog’s “animalness”; (3) it is possible that people and animals can be bonded by “psychospirituality”; and (4) dogs reflect the people we are and the people we want to be. This book is a must read for anyone who not only wants to but also is willing to include a dog in his/her life in tandem.