MUCH SMARTER THAN HORSES

Stanley, if I didn’t feed you, walk you, or take you on car rides, would you still love me?

Probably not.

Let’s say something happened to me, Stanley, and I couldn’t do those things for you because I was sick or hurt, would you love me then?

I doubt it.

I think people want to be loved deeply for who they are, not for what they do. I don’t want to be loved just because I get up early to feed you and take you on walks even in freezing weather. I don’t want to be loved just because of how I function, but because I am. Get it, Stan?

No.

I think that’s part of the MeToo phenomenon, when women talk about a man fondling them without permission. When someone puts their hands on us or exhibits himself, he’s reminding us that for him we’re objects, things that function to give him pleasure rather than full human beings. He wants us because of what we do for him, not because of what we are. We want to be acknowledged and recognized as people, Stanley, not based on What-have-you-done-for-me-lately?

So tell me, what would happen if I wasn’t always the happy-go-lucky, sweet mutt you’ve adored all these years?

You mean, Stan, like in the old days when you just stared out at the back slope waiting for something to bark at and ignored me completely?

And do you remember what you did back then? One night you locked me out of the house. I almost froze to death.

It was June, Stanley. I had to shut the dog door for some reason, and every night I’d check to make sure everyone was in. I thought you were in, and you weren’t. At 4 am I heard you whimper outside and I jumped up and ran downstairs to let you in.

I’m posting it on MeToo. I was abused and almost died from exposure.

It was 75 degrees, Stan, and I was sorry.

You did it because I was not who I am today. I didn’t come to greet you in the mornings, I didn’t wag my tail, I didn’t lick your face, I didn’t do any of those silly things.

Stanley, whatever you do or don’t do, I’d still love you.

Then you’re a fool.

I loved Bubale the Pit Bull all those months before she died, when she’d lie there on my bed barely moving and I would cook special meals for her, Stan.

Those were some of the best months of my life! I ate everything she left behind, and she left plenty. It was almost worth her living a little longer just for the food, and that’s a fact.

Right now you’re being pretty snarky, Stanley.

And you know what? I don’t feel much lovin’ comin’ my way. You think those horses you’re feeding would greet you the way they do, hurrying to the fence and stretching out their heads, if they didn’t know you had apples in your pockets?

You’re a cynic, Stan.

And we dogs have had the upper hand with you humans for a long, long time. Much smarter than horses.