In general dogs are pretty stupid but our dog is – of course – really smart. That is what most people say about their own dogs. The truth is that all dogs are rather stupid but most of them are very likable. Sir Winston Churchill said famously “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals“.(more quotes). I prefer the company of smart people but dogs may be stupid. Thinking about this, I am not sure if I could even like smart dogs, I mean dogs so smart that they would talk to you.
Exactly the fact that they don’t speak makes them such good companions. You can talk to them and they don’t object, they agree with everything you say and they don’t ask any questions. I realized one night some time ago how good this situation actually is, when I had an imaginary conversation with our dog about a series of real observations I made while walking through the neighborhood.
After a few hundred meters we got to this old car. It has been there forever. Sometimes I see someone around it during the day. Its axes are supported by bricks and the windows covered with cardboard from the inside but you can still see some clothes inside.
“Why is there someone living in this car, day and night? Don’t people live in houses?”
“I don’t know, Dog, but it must be because he doesn’t have enough money to live in a house.”
“What is that – money?”
Home Cinema System
Then we turned the corner. Someone had bought a new TV set and home cinema sound system and left he empty boxes on the sidewalk. Sony Bravia, a big screen, nice.
“Why some people leave their garbage in the street?” the dog would ask me and I would not know the answer.
500 meters farther someone was curled up in a telephone booth. The dog sniffed at the person and looked up at me as if asking me: “Why does this person sleep in the telephone booth?”
What would I answer if he asked why we don’t let him use part of our house, at least when it is very cold ?
Young Man In Wheelchair
Then we passed the house where I sometimes see a young man in a wheelchair outside. I don’t see him very often and he must be long asleep at this time of the night. Then we got to this club, bar, restaurant, where cars are parked on the sidewalk all the time. Day and night. “Isn’t it difficult for the young man in the wheelchair to go for a ride or to a shop when the cars are parked like this?” the dog would ask me and I would have to explain that there are a lot of anti social, uneducated and selfish people that don’t care about the lives of others.
Then there is the construction site where they are building this big apartment building. “What happened to the beautiful old villa that used to stand there? It was kind of nice with a modernist, thirties architecture and a large garden?” “They demolished it.” I would answer. “Demolished, but why!? Didn’t they like the villa? Is that allowed?”
I would have to explain to my dog that they are not allowed to do this. That this is a so called protected zone and there are laws that protect the cultural heritage of the country, that owners are obliged to maintain their houses and are not allowed to let them fall apart, let alone to demolish them.
Some people don’t know or are too lazy to make money honestly and prefer to bribe people so that they can tear down a nice old building and build a too big and too tall block of apartments so that they can get more money for it. It is called corruption, a criminal offense and the people who do this are criminals. Then the dog would ask me if these people go to jail and then I would have to explain……
No, the proper thing for us would be to pee on the building walls every time we pass it as a form of protest but that would give birth to an uncomfortable discussion about socially accepted behavior. To tear down historical monuments instead of respecting them seems acceptable but if people were to pee on illegal buildings as a sign of protest that would not be acceptable, at least not for the CEO of a Bank, I fear.
Maybe It Is Better This Way
In a way it would be nice if the dog could ask me all those questions. It would mean that at least someone cared. But I would not be able to give him a satisfactory answer and trying to do that would make me sad. Maybe it is better this way: I do the talking, the dog does the peeing.