In the Dumps

When my dad left last week I told him I would continue this blog while he was gone. That seemed to make him happy. But even as he was saying goodbye I was beginning to realize it wouldn’t happen. He went to this green place called Las Cañadas to learn all about bamboo. Why he wants to learn about bamboo is beyond me and to make matters worse they only serve vegetarian food. As a dog that is totally unnatural, but my dad said it was a small price to pay for learning about bamboo. The thing that really got me, though, was that I didn’t know how long he would be gone, or even if he would return at all. That’s the thing people don’t realize. When they go away and leave their dogs alone, those dogs don’t know if they will be alone for an hour, a day, a week, or forever. Maybe I will never see him again was all I could think. I like to call it the great transgenic communication barrier. There is this man in Xalapa who claims to be able to communicate with his dog telepathically. Maybe its true. But you have to be just a little skeptical–we dogs are really good at picking up subtle cues, and humans are really good at inventing extra-rational explanations.

The long and short of it (I like that expression) is that I really missed my dad and as his absence dragged on past the first night I gradually fell into a kind of funk, and it wouldn’t let go of me enough to write this blog. So thats why, and I know its a little weak, but that’s easy for you humans to think. You with your facile, intrepid tongues find it hard that I could not know my dad would only be gone five days.

As you may have guessed, I am not quite back on track yet. It didn’t help that when my dad finally did return and I rushed to greet him, the other dogs attacked me mercilessly, I guess because they wanted to be the ones to jump on him first. Giaco really bit me hard and when I yelped Cosi bit me too. My joie de vivre has been a bit dampened. Our recent rains haven’t helped either.

I tried to tell my dad I was down in the dumps but instead of the sympathy I thought I deserved he started talking about how lots of dogs in Coahuila ate out of dumpsters. Then he got into this strange harangue about how in prehistoric times wild dogs ate the offal that humans discarded and threw into the streets, and how humans put up with this at least when those wild dogs weren’t too vicious, and how only those that were friendly and fawning survived to whelp out pups, which of course were similar to their parents. He said this was an example of co-evolution and explained how dogs got to be man’s best friend. What a crock. But hey, what do I know, I’m only a dog.

I’m sorry, but only a little, to make you wade through all this dialetheistic rambling before getting to the dog art treats, but as I may have said before, you can always skip the preface and jump to the meat.

This first example is more than rotten. It is disgusting and reprehensible. It seems that a Costa Rican artist (or former artist; he is no artist for me), whose name I refuse to give, decided to starve a dog to death as a piece of performance art. He took the dog, who was wandering the streets and already hungry, tied it on a short leash in the corner of a gallery room, and left it without food and without water, to slowly die. People walking through the gallery could view this ‘piece of art’. Here is that sad dog:

dog starved to death in the name of art

Dog starved to death in the name of art

Wake up, humans, this is NOT art. Art has reasonable limits and in the last few decades those limits have been crossed too many times.

Next, let me mention Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir” , a 2008 Cannes animated documentary dealing with the horrors of war, specifically with the 1982 massacre at the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Surely we need more films that depict the horrors of war and fewer that depict it as heroic or patriotic. Neither do I have a problem with a film which shows a former Israeli soldier trying to reconstruct lost memories caused by the post traumatic stress of his involvement and experience in this terrible event.

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2 Responses to “In the Dumps”

  1. Esther (mom) Buddenhagen Says:

    Well, Rita, I know how much you suffer when dad is away, or me, for that matter. You work so hard to keep us both near you even on walks! And this time, Dad couldn’t even talk to you on the phone!

    And as you probably already know, I agree with you completely about the misrepresentation of dogs as bad guys … I mean dogs. I think any dogs born mean were bred mean by humans for their own purposes. Though obviously dogs can have their spats, too.

    One thing I didn’t mention in my linking to the description of the insane security measures taken when George Bush visited Merida last year was that they even involved KILLING the dogs in the vicinity because it was feared barking might mask gunshots!!!!

    I think dogs would do a lot better ruling the world.

    love, mom

  2. rita314 Says:

    Hi Ma, Thanks for commenting again. I guess when you say “I mean dogs” you mean “I mean mean dogs” 🙂 . For sure vicious dogs are almost always made that way by people. Yeah, I heard about that killing dogs for Bush thing. Incredible. I’m not sure dogs as world leaders would be better, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be worse.

    Your loving dog, Rita

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