Monday, July 26, 2010

My Dog Can Smell Your Soul - 7/26/2010

My baker’s dozen of regular readers know that my boon companion is my Beagle, Skooter. Those that know Beagles realize they have an amazing sense of smell. They are often used for drug, cadaver, or bomb dogs. Skooter has a special ability.

I wish I was as good of a judge of character as this canine. He has divided all humans into three categories immediately upon meeting them and deals with them thusly:

1) If he likes them he can be very charming, sidling up to them and offering himself to be petted, stroked, or otherwise attended to. He will repay these kind gestures with a loving look from his big, sad, brown eyes. He may nuzzle them or even offer a lick, though his is not generally a licker. Chances are he may just stand by them and relax.

2) Some people he will totally ignore and even change course to avoid contact with them. He has sensed that they are not deserving of his favor but has not yet made a full determination. Through time, they can actually earn their way into the first group. They are on super secret probation and only Skooter knows why.

3) The third group of people has been instantly entered into Skooter’s shit list. His hackles will rise. He will snarl and bark at them and no amount of coaxing will change his mind. If he was looking at the devil himself, the reaction would be no different. If they had a pocket full of treats he would not alter his perception.

You may say that Skooter is exhibiting prejudice and bigotry, making an instant, baseless, judgment on the worth of a person. I think that Skooter’s position is that there are enough good people in the world for him to waste time on the bad. Not a bad policy in my opinion.


I can only speak for myself, but sometimes I am so eager to be petted, stroked, or otherwise attended to that I have often not been as selective as would be prudent as to whom I offer my back to. Historically, I have often been metaphorically stabbed in that back. Sometimes just a flesh wound and other times a near fatality, cutting into major organs. Usually the attack comes after I have squandered time, emotion, and resources on this schlemiel or schlemielette.

Skooters method of sorting humanity has served him well. He has never, to my knowledge, had a less than satisfying association with humans of his choice, while in my custody.



He does not choose by race, sexual preference, gender, economic status, or national origin. I believe he can smell their soul. Two people can approach him and he will select one (or none) to give his brand of affection to. Once they are accepted, they are members of Skooter’s inner circle for life. And I have to be honest. Those that he has embraced have proven to be worthy. Right Mike?

Skooter does have a trace of bigotry however. He pretty much dislikes all children. They are only eligible for categories 2 and 3. They tend to get in his face before he has had the opportunity to evaluate them, thereby forfeiting their opportunity. Oh yeah, and if you try to reach into our car, uninvited, all bets are off. He has to appraise you on his terms.

13 comments:

Roger Yale said...

We humans can learn from Skooter's honesty.

orionsbow said...

I would only hope that I could live up to Skooter's approval rating of me. It is a goal worth shooting for. Thanks bud. (scratch, scratch, kissy for Skooter)

Jeff Manes said...

Well thought out post. Mark Twain wrote "The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's". I think most dog lovers feel the same way.

Nadja said...

I love your post Rick, and the music that comes along with it. A great read.

Thank you. :)

Chris said...

He's awesome. Love to meet him sometime.

Chris said...

Look forward to meeting him sometime.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shyam said...

I can only hope that Skooter will like me, because I love most dogs but beagles are my favourite (I've been a Snoopy fan since forever!)

tsduff said...

Your post made me miss having a beagle so much. I grew up with beagles, and had them for much of my life. Being in between sucks. I love reading about Skooter - he is such a perfect representative.

Anonymous said...

My cat Grauwyler is like that. He knows who belongs in the house and who doesn't. I once had a roommate who turned out to be lousy who told me she woke in the middle of the night to find him sitting on her chest, staring her down, waiting for her to awaken. When he saw that she was looking at him, he slapped her in the face and stalked off.
I always wish I could hiss people out of the house like he does.

katrina said...

I love this! I do believe that the judgment of a good dog is worth it's weight in gold! My first dog was a beagle, I went to the farm to pick out my new puppy, but they had all been spoken for and the only dog left was the 4 yr old former breeding parent. The lady sold her to my dad and I, and I tried to carry her to the car, but she was too heavy and quite overweight. But she was the sweetest most adorable pet and I couldn't have been happier! She was with me for about 8 years.

linda may said...

Too true. Rufus does the same, he chooses who he will like ...or not. But he is more of a tart than skooter, he always comes around for a cuddle after a while then usually won't stay away. Hahaha.

Cate said...

Wonderful article about the amazingly astute Scooter. Thank you Rick.