The place to come to wag more and bark less...

Friday, June 29, 2012

What's In a Name?

Why It's A Dog's Life? Because I like to sleep all day? Chase mice or rabbits? Snack on a decaying animal carcass or roll in another dog's poop? No, as a matter of fact I don't do any of those things. While they are all admirable activities indeed, they are unrelated to this blog's title.

Dogs, it's said, live in the moment. So do I. Memory impaired people often do. Without a memory of what's happening - or of what's going to happen - I'm suddenly at the whim of others who do know. Or else I become a slave to my day planner, uttering the robotic mantra Must... Not... Forget... Important... Thing... as I gaze into it. It's true.

People who don't know me often ask "Don't you remember this or that?" "No, as a matter of fact, I don't," I respond, looking to my planner once more. Even with my planner I'm still sometimes lost because I forget to enter things into it and they become lost forever.

That's where Sophie the Dog comes in. No, she doesn't remind me to do things. But she does remind me that another being - albeit a dog - lives with a memory that's on a par with my own. And she's just fine with it. Except for eating and sleeping, Sophie has little else to remember. Even better, Sophie never expects me to remember anything, and she could care less about my being in charge. It's a safe situation, one of mutual trust that works for both of us.

Here's an example: Today is Sophie's bath day. She can't stand getting a bath, and I hate giving her one. It stinks for us both. But tonight, hours after she's been bathed, we'll both have forgotten all about it. It's a perfect arrangement. And it's a great lesson, too.

Just as Sophie and I connect, I must also connect with other people. Just as I feed Sophie, I in turn, need to be figuratively fed by others. As such, memory impairment is, indeed, a dog's life. Dogs - and their humorous habits - lighten up an otherwise onerous scenario. With a little effort, I'll relate as well to the world as I do with Sophie.

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