ANGUS' NEW YEARS' RESOLUTIONS By Tim Williams (Article)
Angus – New Years' Resolutions
In the manner of Addison’s and Steele’s 18th century “Spectator”, I – a playful pup of some perspicuity - am resolved to analyze my present situation and set down some resolutions in the hope such publicity will strengthen my purpose. Being myself a creature of strong zeal and weak intellect, I am happy to remain in the custody of my masters on Eastbourne Avenue, with the caveat that their behavior evolve as favorably as I expect my own to do.
Being aged only nine months, I am still in my nonage and beg indulgence of gentle readers and masters who are themselves fallible. I now see in fact that my “master” is an odd unaccountable fellow, enamoured of dull proclamations and musty foreign edicts, while my “mistress” is more attuned to accounts of gallantry and self-display. I am trying to understand them better, but it isn’t easy.
Since my first report in the September issue of this publication, some water has flowed under the bridge with low and high points. An aged Bernese mountain dog bit me when I wanted to play, resulting in hospitalization, a hefty bill and a tiresome bandage. An insurance company was subsequently grateful for the new policy. Two months ago I was “fixed” (as they euphemistically put it). My potential interactions with the other “Angus”, a same-sex relationship, have however remained lively. As far as outings go, we are now ranging more widely. Frolicking in the Rockcliffe dog park is wonderful! I count on my masters entering more fully into the canine subculture that, as I see it, underpins the reality of Manor Park.
My masters are still trying to understand me. I have overheard them discussing my “Jekyll and Hyde personality”. They talk disparagingly about my origins in a beaker or mixing bowl. It is true I am now about ten times as big as at birth and can jump up on sofas or whisk anything off counters. I become of choleric disposition when blocked access to tempting dishes. My masters must learn to secrete their cheeses, cakes and sweetmeats in more distant locations. I have now also left my marks on wooden furniture and even moulding so they now offer me expensive artificial bones or squeaky toys as compensation. I note they are becoming expert at pooh removal from shoes with ridges on the soles, where dirt accumulates and an old chopstick may be used for cleaning purposes. New types of shoes with flat soles are under discussion, but may be hazardous in winter.
As yet, I lack the power of divination, but am making it my purpose to understand my relationships better. Who is the “top dog”? I usually get what I want one way or another. They want me to wear a tiresome halter and walk at heel instead of straining forward. They are worried I eat too many plastic bags left on garden edges after the garbage pickup. What will they put on the bargaining table? As I develop my negotiating position, I can offer to stop dismantling carpets in exchange for more frequent walks and dog meetings. Would they like me to make more urine spots in new places on the back lawn so as to perfect the checkerboard effect?
I strive for fuller citizenship in this world. I will aim to improve my mind and the conduct of my action in hope of a counterpart. I am prepared to improve my French-English bilingualism and take full cognizance of proximity to Algonquin lands. As I look to 2016, I do not wish to become a handsome but passive companion, much less become a mere drudge of business only. Nor will I be a spectator merely, much less a tattler. I want to collaborate in preserving pristine nature, behave ecologically and live in peace with other sentient beings. Without going on with this lucubration, may I ask whether my masters - and you gentle reader - also believe in these goals?
From the wit of your discourse I divine you have been perusing old notes from English 100, and I shall endeavour to fashion a response in like manner. As we enter our second sobering year together, I now know myself not to be the philosophic or ingenious man I thought. I observe you to be only an animal but possessed of a strong will that questions who is master in our household. Yet there is much that ought to unite us. While understanding the vanity of sentient strivings, we both wish to keep alive the spirit of an exalted freedom. We have in common a desire for resource protection – you food, me books in particular. My hope is your “puppy phase” will mutate into a calmer, more accepting long-term stage in which you are less full of faction, demonstrate the most exact good breeding and obey me on my personal account. Is this the rhapsody of my imagination? Could we agree that if I take you for a walk in the Rockcliffe Park to cavort with your brethren, you will permit my afternoon nap undisturbed? If I respect your ancestral heritage, will you agree not to destroy my precious 18th century family portraits on ivory? While I know you are unacquainted with all the gallantries of the age, I beg of you not to use me like a low person or only a collector of your promiscuous heaps of matter. In conclusion I am sensible of the danger of tiring our moral readers or shocking their feelings with minor concerns. May we agree to enter this second year in a manner fit to gain universal applause amongst the delicate observers of our esteemed neighborhood?
Tags: Tim Williams