Of Writing and of Dogs

Another two thousand words today and The Detective and the Ghost progresses nicely, although I had a bit of a panic attack a few minutes ago because I’m nearing the second act and I couldn’t remember what was going to be in it. But not to panic, all is well, I remembered.

I remember reading, as I did research for the novel, about opinions of members of the police about crime novels. One particular person said how ridiculous it seemed using only surnames to talk about the characters, when in real life they use each others first names. The thing is, it comes almost naturally. Naming people by their surnames in murder mysteries might have become a standard of the genre and, even if it is not representation or reality, it’s almost what we’ve come to expect. I don’t know, however, how much US shows have influenced that.

On other news, somebody has complained about my dogs barking. Before I go into this, do know that I am aware of it and that we have tried, in many different ways, to stop them barking (when I say them, I mean her, because it’s mostly her), but to no avail. When another dog walks past or a delivery van stops by or the postman, well, she barks. She only barks as long as the stimulus is there, though and they never bark at night, because we take them inside.

So a man from the Council knocked at my door yesterday to tell me how the barking was unacceptable. By this comment I took it he had been sitting there for a while to know that. The first thing I asked him is where was his van. As he points, I see he had parked right long the fence of my back garden, where the dogs are. I had to point out that they were barking at him. I mean, if you get in somebody’s face, they will get aggressive, don’t they? Either way, the man mentioned that ‘people’ work shifts, which told me straight away who it was. But that’s not important right now.

The man was understanding enough and when I explained what we had tried, he wasn’t argumentative. He was also happy that, a few minutes after he had been here, they had stopped barking.

And you might wonder, what am I getting at. Well, the fact is that, was I to have a rave, every day, from 9am to 9pm, ‘people’ couldn’t even complain about the noise, but because it’s a dog barking, ah, well… Isn’t that ridiculous? Doesn’t it make sense that I am more capable of stopping having raves than I am to force another living thing to do what naturally comes to them?

Our arrogance as human beings knows no limits. So much so that we have taken control of a whole species and decide, literally, of their future. We behave like their God. We decide when they live and when they die. We even decide if they get to reproduce and the unwritten rule is that dogs of mixed race get neutered while pedigree and pure race dogs are allowed the privilege to reproduction but only because they make us money. We are the Hitler of dogs.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am as guilty as the next guy of doing this, but I can’t stop but be bewildered at how far we are taking our so called superiority. Same goes for cats, by the way. And even worse, because I haven’t seen anybody drown a litter of puppies stuffed in a bag.

A few years ago, a man burnt a dog alive in Northern Ireland. He was sentenced to prison and fined. I’d like to argue that, though the sentence was deserved and maybe too lenient even, aren’t we all even guiltier of torturing a whole species by depriving them of their biological meaning (the perpetuation of their genes)?

Well, that became very philosophical, didn’t it? I may need to stick to writing, like my husband told me the other day when I started singing to the kids. I’ll just go and do that now.



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