Friday, January 8, 2010

beagles and humans

I’m not a very good blogger. I rarely do it. Tonight though, I feel like writing so here are my musings.

This morning at about 3:30 am I was awoken by my three dogs barking like crazy because they heard some other dogs outside. We live in the country with no other house to be seen and in the night coon hunters are nothing rare. So, after trudging sleepily downstairs and out onto the porch with a flashlight and seeing just a couple of beagles, I assumed hunters and went back to bed and quieted the dogs. I awoke about 7:30am to the same yelps and yips. Looking out my window, there were the same two beagles still that I had seen by flashlight four hours earlier. I knew then what had happened.

Snow boots on, forget the jacket, forget the bed-formed hair, in my Barney purple fuzzy bathrobe, a ragged blue nightgown, and long underwear, I stomped out onto the new snow and down the driveway. As I approached the dogs (of course) a car pulled up. Ok, nowhere to run in purple fuzzy shame, I met the woman who asked me if the dogs were mine. “Nope”
And so we together tried to catch them. It should have been easy. They were both obviously in distress, old, not very healthy, shivering, limping, had had way too many litters of pups so that their teats were almost brushing the ground. It was easy to capture the one, for she was rather fat and quite friendly. My husband David came out and actually picked her up and brought her into the house. The other though was small and very scared. My new friend and I tried to first entice then grab her but she scooted away into the woods. “Mary” said she had to go to work and drove off and so I, in my purple fuzzy glory, marched down the road hoping the skittish one could still be found. I feel honored to have given so much amusement to the various landscaping trucks and cubical bound hominids who drove past me. I wondered what story they might attach to this purple rumpled bathrobed women stomping about in a state park at 8 in the morning seemingly in the midst of nowhere. At some other time I would have been amused or horrified, but this morning, I was only worried for the other beagle as it was only twenty degrees here in Maryland this morning and tomorrow night it is going down to twelve. I couldn’t find her and was highly upset, imagining the worst. Thankfully, my husband found her later in the day. Tonight they are both downstairs curled up together fast asleep (the dogs that is; my husband is up here soon to be curled up with me).

I’m not sure what to write here. I want to write “WHAT SORT OF GODDAMNED SCUM WOULD DO THAT TO ANOTHER BEING?!!!!” I want to rant. I want to rage against my species! How can the most intelligent mammal be the cruelest and stupidest as well? How can the most humane also be the most inhumane? Surely we are the worst of all species! We torture our own- what other mammal even conceives of that? Surely, a cat has no feeling for the mouse it tosses, but then no cat sits about in committees conceiving of tortures for other cats, and no cat breeds the same female mice for years only to drop off the mothers in the local park to die when they are no longer useful!

So now, here is my rant.

We are oblivious to the species around us like no other creature on the planet. We’ve wiped out all our predators and shrink wrapped all our prey, what need do we have to think of them?

We have lost our trust, our balance, our beauty. We are the ultimate control freaks of Earth. We do not realize that control is the ultimate illusion. Change is the never-ending law of this universe. Yet, we think we can avoid it by mowing our grass, working a “good” job, investing, saving, having good insurance policies, getting religion, and helping our children do the same thing to “insure their future.” We are completely consumed with the control of our lives. Silliness. Illusion. Pathology.

And so, with such mentality, there is no wonder that a couple of old, over-bred beagles become “waste” and end up dumped after their long years of “use” in our driveway.

I find my species to be an embarrassment. I am ashamed at times to be called human. But now please, allow me to de-rant.

Other times, I feel proud, I feel enlightened. I feel more than what I think I am. For there are those among us who don’t use and throw out other beings. There are those who give hope to this great festering mass of control obsessed, frightened, desperate souls. I could list the obvious: Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., the usual suspects, but I’d rather not. They are not greater than those the closest to us. I think we all can say we have known one individual in our lives, though they never will get the same worldly recognition. It could have been a parent or a child, a teacher or a student, a neighbor or a stranger, but that one person made all the difference to you. Because of that one person you, or I, am now a better human. Because of that one person in my life, I cannot dump beagles off in the middle of the woods to die. There but for the grace of _______ go I.