It’s a Dog’s Life by David Macfie
I don’t want to complain, really I don’t. After all, there many good things in my life. My master gives me dinner at roughly the same time every day and I’m allowed to exercise most days of the week. I have my toys to play with if I get bored and I live in a nice house with a decent sized garden, where I can lie on the grass, swim in the pool, sunbathe and smell the flowers. I even get to dig from time to time, but only where my master shows me I can. I have a nice bed to sleep in but my master doesn’t like it, if I get onto the big bed. I have a bath once a week and a shower much more often – my master doesn’t like it when I smell bad. Every now and then I ride in the car to new and exciting places. My master always drives, but that’s OK….. Usually! But, sometimes, it’s not OK. That’s when someone else comes in the car and sits next to my master. Then I get scared, because I don’t think my master concentrates very well when someone else is in the car. Too much talking and not enough driving, if you ask me. Most of those times I can’t look out, I just keep my eyes down. Still the outings are nice, particularly when I get fed on titbits and other goodies.
“So what’s wrong with all that?” I hear you say. Nothing is wrong with that. That’s all great. It’s all great as far as it goes. My problem is that it doesn’t go far enough. I mean, it’s so predictable and ordinary. I’d like to have more freedom. I’d like to walk new roads and smell new smells and meet new people. I’d like to run in the fields and chase the sheep and cows and howl at the moon. I’d like to have more mating in the mating season, whenever that is. I have so little mating, I’m not even sure. I’d like to eat different stuff and drink different stuff. I’d like to chase cars if I’m in the street, or birds in the fields, if there are no cows or sheep. I’d like to run on the sand and paddle in the sea and eat all sorts of stuff that I’m not supposed to eat, like sweet biscuits and grapes and raisins and chips and peanuts. You see, all those things are out there and I’m not getting any of them. That’s my problem.
All the things I’m getting are great, fine and dandy, terrific. It’s the things I’m not getting that are the problem. And why am I not getting them? Because my master doesn’t give them to me, that’s why.
So what am I going to do? I guess I have two choices. I can just be happy with what I have got and stop thinking of what I haven’t got. That’s choice one – not very inspiring, I must say. Choice two is to do something about all of this. Take charge. Be my own master. That’s much more inspiring, isn’t it? Sure it is, but it’s also very scary.
How can I take charge? I’m not the master. The master is the master. My job is not to be masterful, it’s to be mastered. So I’m stuck in a role definition that grates on me. I have been labeled as ‘not the master’, whether I like it or not. And I don’t….. Like it, I mean. So what do you do to change your own role model? What if I decided I wanted to be the master? What then?
I’ve decided. I want to be the master. Now what? Any suggestions, brain? AW, CUMMON, you must have some suggestions. What’s the point in having a brain if it has NO suggestions? Really? NO suggestions? So what do you expect me to do now? What do you mean ‘be mastered?’ I thought we’d been through that. I don’t want to be mastered any more. This is ridiculous! I tell you that I want to the master and you have NO suggestions on how I can get there.
So what now? I’ve told you, brain, what I want. You have been no help at all. So, I repeat, what now?
‘Ask the master. Are you serious? I say I want to be master and ask you how I can get there and you say ‘ask the master’. This is not going to work. I need a new brain or someone else to talk to! Perhaps madness is the answer, then I won’t care who is master and who isn’t. After all, I’m already talking to myself so madness must be close.
Still no answer. I’m still not the master and I haven’t found anyone else to talk to. Perhaps this my destiny – to be mastered.
It really is a dog’s life.
By the way, the master’s name is Alison and she’s my wife.