Monday, October 24, 2011

The Trick To Being A Dog

I can be a dog. It's something I do when I want. 

You can pat my back, stroking the fur along my spine. I'll wag for you.

Everyone knows I'm a dog because I'm panting; because my tongue's hanging out. They say, "Come here, doggy," and "Do you have a name, doggy?" but I don't answer because I'm a dog.

I like to be scratched behind the ears, and to crawl into your lap. You say this is my imagination, but it's you who is imagining. I am a dog; it's you who sees a child on all fours.

You were once able to do it too, but if you're old enough to read this, it's likely you've lost the courage to travel to this Never Never Land that occupies the very same space and time as the humdrum affairs. Some of you pretend you're a dog, camping it up with sly winks to the crowd. I like it, don't get me wrong, but you aren't really a dog.

Did I say you can't do this? Of course you can, and of course you do, just not out here in the world where the rest of the people can see you. Those few who do let it out are the rocket men who live their dreams among the stars. But most grown-ups keep it inside, not letting any part of it leak out, lest the rest of the world point and say, "You're not a dog," "You're just pretending," "You will fail," "You cannot," "I will not let you," "It cannot be." That's what really sucks about being a grown-up. The other people try to fill you up with their doubts, with their own imagination that can only see a child on all-fours.

I know that everyone else is a dog too, behind their self-imposed kennel fences, barking their envy, trying to bark you back behind your own fence, craving in their souls to join you on the outside, collecting pats on the back and scratches behind the ears.

The trick to being a dog, is to be one.

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Juliet Robertson said...

Woof, woof-woof w-w-w-woof!

Some children also rather like attaching string to a stick and this becoming their pet dog!

Meredith Anderson said...

It's a shame that adults feel the need to let their imagination disappear as they grow older. If everyone put down the walls that they built up while growing older, we would see entirely new people. My mother always use to tell me to be the person I am when I'm by myself because that is your TRUE self. It's hard to do that sometimes. Judgement is such a hard thing to deal with. I'll always long for my days as a child. Oh so simple...

Unknown said...

I think sometimes the trick to being a dog is not allowing the adults to get in the way! A good reminder for us to try not to stifle a little imagination, even if unintended!

Amelia Bumpers said...

It is a shame that as adults, we cannot use our imagination or be our true selves because of the way people judge now. I wish we could go back to the time that we didn't care what other people see us as, and other people didn't judge so much.

Jami @bettyproject said...

I love this post! So very children have such wonderful imaginations that I love getting caught up in their games and waddling through the arctic as penguins or stretching like cats woken from a nice long nap to the prospect of an ear scratch...those who let the idea of "being an adult" take over their lives really are missing out on the magical world our children live in.

katie poli said...

brilliant post... reminds me one of my favourite quotes, which I'm sure you know... "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." (Picasso)