I’m a cat person. I had to get that out there before I spend the rest of this Monster Meditation on DOGS. It’s said that cats have staff—not masters—and sometimes I think that’s an accurate assessment. The human(s) in a cat’s life may also be caregivers, best buddies, slaves, colleagues, or mother surrogates. Having spent a lifetime with cats, I can say with complete candor that I’ve been all of those things to a feline companion.
But dogs are another kind of animal and the relationship between the human and the dog, the master and the animal, the leader and the follower is fascinating.
I was sitting in the window of my favorite coffee bar and I spotted this handsome creature waiting for his master. In the five minutes that he sat in a posture of relaxed attention, passersby stopped to snap photos of him. His only response—a big hound yawn.
When his master returned for him, the man fit the dog in an almost familial way. Both long and lean, both graying with earned age, and both athletic and masculine. I couldn’t help but think of the cliché of dogs and masters looking alike. They didn’t really look ALIKE so much as looking compatible. The dog and the man seemed to have a similar pace and manner—aware, but laid back.
The streets of New York are full of dogs and dog people, including professional dog walkers (handling the afternoon walk for busy people) and the folks that carry miniature pooches that might appear to be a good breakfast option for a hungry cat.
In fiction, as in life, some dogs become an accessory in both meanings of the word.
Noun—attachment, addition, add-on, adjunct, appendage, supplement
Legal—accomplice, associate, collaborator, co-conspirator, henchman
I enjoyed watching this particular dog as he calmly surveyed his surroundings on a chilly winter morning. Nothing perturbed him and yet he seemed to take note of each person and dog that walked by. In a story, I could seem him as both an appendage and an accomplice to his human’s endeavors.
Any thoughts on what the mutt, purebred, miniature, or gigantic dog says about the human at the other end of the leash?