I see Jacob, the dog, nearly every day. I have decided that his miniature owner lives to chat with tourists. This is why he uses English in his direction of Jacob. He lures us in with the bait of familiarity.
He tells Jacob repeatedly, “Take it easy!” This large dog does not wear his iconic cask of brandy. Instead, this fancy-dressed owner carries a bottle of mezcal and a shot glass to get the conversation flowing.
While waiting for a parade, I refused three shots of mezcal and was still invited on a run with Jacob at 8 the following morning. I wanted to say that I spend mornings with them in the park, but then I realized that I blend in with all of the other tourists he talks with.
I wanted to say I have heard him warning: “Jacob, that is a poopy.” He means puppy. He yells it when Jacob gets too near other dogs. I want to remind him that Jacob is still a poopy himself (he’s only six months old) and .
From Dogs Are Shakespearean, Children Are Strangers
— Delmore Schwartz
Dogs are Shakespearean, children are strangers.
Let Freud and Wordsworth discuss the child,
Angels and Platonists shall judge the dog,
The running dog, who paused, distending nostrils,
Then barked and wailed; the boy who pinched his sister,
The little girl who sang the song from Twelfth Night,
As if she understood the wind and rain,
The dog who moaned, hearing the violins in concert.
—O I am sad when I see dogs or children!
For they are strangers, they are Shakespearean.
Read the whole poem at: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/42635
Of course, I can’t resist thinking of Anton Chekov’s “The Lady with the Pet Dog:” http://www.eldritchpress.org/ac/jr/197.htm
- Why should humans and canines meet on the street? One of the ways this interaction can compel a story forward is what we learn from the one-sided “conversation” that often results.