Then came children of my own and the push-me, pull-you of swings and roundabouts. Initially, I found children to be poor dog substitutes. They didn’t come when you called them, and they were very slow – particularly the males – to be house trained.
Of course, this was before the plastic-bag-gloved hand became a mandatory canine accessory. After the legislation, human babies began to look positively continent – what with their neat little absorbent poo-pads – compared with these hairy shitters. Indeed, the whole notion of being responsible for a creature that requires me to pick up its excrement seems a curious inversion of what I always understood about the interspecies relationship.
You see it is the dog that owns you, not the other way around. Self goes on to write that
I thought dogs were domesticated by humans, and that over many millennia we selectively bred them as hunting companions, guards, herders and so forth. We fed them and in return they did our bidding. There was no doubt about which was the subordinate species. The shit thing has completely altered my perspective. It now seems that far from us selectively breeding them, it’s been the other way round. Over many millennia, dogs, by providing human dog lovers with an adaptive advantage (the ability to take dull walks whatever the weather, the gumption to open fiddly tin cans, the capacity to pay exorbitant vets’ bills), have been selectively breeding us.* (will-self.com � Blog Archive � Dog days)
So maybe I will be owned again by a hairy shitter. I kind of pine for the old days on the farm where I could unleash my pack of dogs onto the fields. I think it might be that I started all those plants, or that I've been dreaming of rolling fields of grain.
For now the housemate's cat will have to do, although he mostly just ignores me even when I have to feed him.
*(While it strikes me that George Carlin has a comedy bit very much like this, I still find Self's way of putting it to be very funny.)