Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Trouble with Terriers...

... is that terriers are trouble.

They have, however, taught me quite a few things. The lesson of Terrier Morality is perhaps the most important:

If you can do it, you may do it.

It is notable that my herding-breed German Shepherds do not embody this principle. They very much factor in the concepts of right and wrong in their worldview. They may well decide to do wrong, but it will have been a considered decision. Even the German Shepherd motto reflects this: Do right and fear no one. (No, really, there is a GSD motto!)

This doesn't mean that they automatically know right from wrong--but they learn and they care, and then tend to think about this question of morality: "Is this a wrong thing to do?" Some GSDs are more concerned with this question than others. On one extreme, my first GSD Thorn spent all of his days studying this question and pondering what his goddess wanted of him. He dedicated his life to learning the language of his goddess and spent his hours pondering possible interpretations of her wishes. My 2nd GSD, Frost, was close to the other extreme--she was was greatly dedicated to her wants and needs, and ultimately, was a great, tormented sinner--she knew what was wanted of her, but she just had to do what she had to do.

And even among terriers, there are differences--Flint spent his first year at Thorn's side, and he seems much more desiring to not only hear the commandments but to try to obey them.


Ruffian is free of this--she has grown up heathen and her gods are the wind and the birds and the scent of dirt in the fields.

She ventures forth and quests for communion with her gods and the commandments of the goddess are all too often naught but sounds in the distance. 

The scent of blood, the snarls of battle, the rattle and flutter of a chicken--these to her are celebrations of life and she throws herself forth to participate, body and soul, no time for consideration, no room for shoulds and do nots--only the deafening whistle of exhilaration through her head and heart.

* * *

All this is to say that last night Ruffian got herself in the middle of a fight between three German Shepherds and now sports a deep puncture on the bridge of her nose, another by her ear, a third through and through her ear and also a rip to the edge of  her ear as well as some bruising on her thigh (stepped on?), and no greater appreciation for the frailty of her life.

The German Shepherds are fine. Hopefully they spent the night in the kennel pondering the will and anger of their goddess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful writing... loved it!