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May 24 , 2011

The Last Cry From the Wild

Essays on People and Dogs


There are many good reasons not to get a dog. Sensible and rational people willingly present them in excruciating detail. But finally, you resist no more and make the decision. This is rarely a spontaneous action in our western urban societies, but rather the end of a cumbersome study of dog books, pet shops, internet pages and parks, where everybody seems so pleased with the joyous Daxhounds, their agile Jack Russels, and their devoted Collies. We know of many who have emerged through that process, turning every stone in the examination. The toughest resistance usually fails when, after an unsuccessful deviation, the family has bought a turtle, an Egyptian rat or a long eared rabbit. When these animals have escaped from their cage into the bathroom ventilator, never to return or fallen prey to a fox, when left alone in the wild, you realise that it’s time for a real pet, a beast that needs a strangler and a leather lead. This is when the Dog appears as the ideal compromise between a horse and a hamster. The Dog fulfils endless needs and functions. It keeps the loner company, instils courage in the fearful, finds trails for the hunter, creates chaos for the pedant, forges friendship with the mob victim, adds frivolity to the serious, esteem to the despised, beauty to the plain, direction to the one-eyed, occupation to the unemployed, youth to the ageing, vigour to the gouty, status to the poor, power to the oppressed. The Dog’s main function is nevertheless that it reconnects me with nature, at the moment I believed I had lost the feeling for the original. It links me with my Atavus. The Dog is the last cry from the wild and in the following essays, I hope you will follow me on that journey.
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