the art of racing in the rain

I recently stumbled across the site of a blogging dog, Kingsley the border collie and have been reading it almost daily. Then not long after, I saw this book The Art of Racing in the Rain written by Garth Stein but told through Enzo the dog.

Having spent most of my childhood among the nine or so dogs my Grandma kept, the uncountable number of cats and the always reproducing rabbits, I have always thought they have minds of their own and often wondered what they must be thinking of us humans. It would be great if I can just speak their language for a while so I know what they are gossiping about us behind our backs.

That could be the reason I enjoy reading Kingsley's blog and why I bought this book. Not that I really believe that dogs can speak or write. But whoever writing these would have put himself in the dog's shoes and tried to think like one. That, for now, satisfies my craving to see the world through a dog's eyes. I did not for a moment regret the purchase. I enjoyed it thoroughly although I find the closing chapter a bit redundant. It's like a feeble attempt to turn a not too positive ending into a happy one. Everyone loves happy endings and so the writer decided that he will give us one. Very often than not, it is the heart wrenching ending that makes the most impact and remains in our memories the longest. I read somewhere that if Romeo and Juliet were to get married, they would inevitably quarrel as they discover their differences and most likely split up. But their tragic deaths after just a short time together made their love story unforgettable.

Okay back to the book. Enzo thinks he's different from other dogs. He's almost human. Through listening to his master, observing the human beings around him and watching tv (mostly car races and sometimes documentaries), Enzo gained much insight into the complex world of people.

Enzo watched a documentary on tv about how monkeys are the closest evolutionary relative of human beings and thinks that is bullshit. He has his own theory on this and illustrated it with 2 points, 1 of which made me laugh out loud:

"Case-in-point #2: The Werewolf - The full moon rises. The fog clings to the lowest branches of the spruce trees. The man steps out of the darkest corner of the forest and finds himself transformed into... A monkey? I think not."

Enzo also asked some thought provoking questions relating to human behaviours that puzzled him. These are a few short paragraphs that caught my attention the most:

"I (Enzo the dog) felt strangely anxious that day, in a very human way. People are always worried about what's happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have."

See see see! What did I always write about embracing the now? Worry worry worry so much, if you suddenly drop dead due to a freak accident, you would have wasted your efforts worrying about what it's going to be.

"I marveled at them both; how difficult it must be to be a person. To constantly subvert your desires. To worry about doing the right thing, rather than doing what is most expedient. At that moment, honestly, I had grave doubts as to my ability to interact on such a level. I wondered if I could ever become the human I hoped to be."

See see see again! What did I always tell you? To hell with doing the politically correct things!

"Did he understand, as those interminable minutes ticked by, that being alone is not the same as being lonely? That being alone is a neutral state; it is like a blind fish at the bottom of the ocean: without eyes, and therefore without judgement. Is it possible? That which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me. Is it true? Could he have possibly appreciated the subjective nature of loneliness, which is something that exists only in the mind, not in the world, and, like a virus, is unable to survive without a willing host?"

This last bit, loneliness vs being alone, I have written much about it long long ago. For those who have been following my blog since my moblog days will remember. I also vaguely remember beakee wrote something about this too. I think it was about solitude. I'll go find the entries when I have the time.

After reading Enzo's thoughts, I feel strangely like a dog. Maybe that's why I always feel like an alien among humans. O_O"

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