Yesterday while hiking outside of Vail my precious puperino snagged himself a tasty treat in the form of a rotting rat. Its rat intestines were sitting on top of its body like the “Saving Private Ryan” soldier on Omaha Beach. I am certain that this rat also cried out for his mother in the final moments of its existence.
Decaying vermin is a delicacy in my dog’s urban reality so he simply could not resist the urge to swallow this fleshy, putrid rat carcass. After doing so my dog was happier than a pig in shit. Or a clam. He is a dog but he was grinning like a Cheshire cat. My dog was so happy it was as if he had two tails instead of just the one.
This morning however I woke up to a dog that looked like he would commit suicide if he knew what suicide is and how to complete it. Fortunately he does not have access to a firearm at the moment. But in all seriousness he looked like death warmed up in an Easy Bake Oven.
This evening on our stroll my dog finally had a chance to expel the rat remnants causing his wretchedness—clumps of matted fur, claws, and a half-digested tail. I am certain there was more to my dog’s dung (maybe bones?), but I have not enjoyed sifting through the feces of animals since the summer before sixth grade when I had a slight obsession with owl pellets.
Vitalized with a sense of release, my dog trotted his happy ass back toward home. And what did we pass but another decaying specimen! Except my dog was on a leash this time and was therefore unable to snatch this decomposing scoundrel into his impenetrable jaws. That did not, however, stop him from trying with all his canine might. It suddenly struck me that my dog and I are hardly different.
I recognize that going on a date, falling in love or entering into a relationship has the potential to make me as happy as my dog was when he swallowed his rotting rat. I also know all too well that often times going on a date, falling in love, or entering into a relationship actively causes me to feel like death warmed up in an Easy Bake Oven. Yet I continue to try with all my human might to snag a special critter. The thrill of swallowing love whole, no matter the consequences, is simply irresistible.
So though consuming moldering rats and the quest for love can both be painful and leave us feeling vile, I continue to hope that the struggle is somehow worth it. I like to think that my dog agrees.