By HERMAN THORBECKE
Is it normal to say “I love you” to an animal and actually mean it?
To really mean it, to hug your dog or your little lamb, feel warm and fuzzy, and express your feelings towards that animal, by telling him you love him?
If that’s abnormal, does it mean I am crazy or demented, or both, or is it simply an expression of our primordial sense of common ancestry that we have with other warmblooded (homeothermic) species? Ours, as I assume I am not the only human that experiences such sentiments.
I had a pet frog once, and koi in a pond, but never felt warm and fuzzy when I picked up the frog or petted the fish. I liked them and was fond of them but never sensed comfort and trust in my relationship with them. I took good care of them and made sure they were well-fed and comfortable, but never told them “I love you,” and neither did I kiss the frog.
Perhaps I should have, and the fat little frog, instead of peeing in my hand, would have morphed into a fat little princess and, knowing your fondness of royalty, I would now be addressed by most of you as Prince Herman.
I do kiss my dogs though, and it has no obvious effect on them other than causing them to vigorously and passionately wag their tails.
I wonder why?
If the Grimm Brothers had it right in the case of the frog prince, then surely kissing my beloved dogs would change them into super canine beings. Perhaps they are and as I have complete faith in them, I suppose I am a believer.
In fact, my dogs save and protect. By demanding from me that I take them for walks they save me from premature aging and they protect my vegetable garden from unwanted consumers, such as deer and rabbits.
My love for them also has another effect. It makes me very hesitant when it comes to eating other warmblooded animals. No more bloody steaks for me, and lamb chops make me think of “Mary’s little lamb.” I am still trying to wean myself from hot dogs, I mean to say beef franks, or wieners.
My dogs also cost me, and in a way, I pay tithe for being saved from the cruelty of killing and excessively devouring other mammals. They also return my love and entertain me, and that’s more than can be said about most people I know.
As to frogs and fish, a man needs to eat his proteins, and beans cause me to flatulate. Even more than usual.
And here is another thought that is totally unrelated to the above.
Today I saw a headline that asked, “Why do intelligent people prefer to be alone?” I did not read the article as in the first place I am not sure it is generally true, and in the second place, I know the answer as it applies to me.
I am dead tired of listening to the dull, vapid platitudes most people endlessly utter about the weather, sports, their children and pets, the president, pretty flowers, vacations, food, movies, cars, the price of gas, the insurrection and climate change.
Just to mention a few.
I’m sorry, I should not rant like that! I think I’ll have some beef franks for dinner, fried in butter.