Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Does a Dog Know That He is A Dog

Does a Dog Know That He is A Dog  


It is not sin to be born as a dog, but it is a sin to be born as a street dog. You don’t realise you are a dog unless you are born as a street dog. Street dog is the real dog. He is ugly and unwashed, hungry and half-dead, barking for no reason and occasionally fights with dogs of other street. Higher breeds of dogs are the alter ego of their masters. Their life as artificial as their masters. They always look at the masters for command and for ‘reward and punishment’. Thanks to Pavlov. However, what Pavlov overlooked the fact that the dog's mind has very limited capacity to associate things with the sense of hearing. He can smell the food from a far distance. He can even read your thoughts of giving him food.

The dog is definitely more apt at handling emotions. He knows how exactly you are feeling. You cannot hide your emotions from him. However, he prefers to ignore your worry and anxiety since he knows them to be baseless. He responds to authoritative commands that's why superior breeds are happy with military officers and hunters. The dog has extraordinary power to detect frequencies. Light, heat and sound all are frequency. He has a powerful sense of smell.
With so many qualities, one may wonder if the dog knows that he is a dog.

This is a Zen question- Does a dog have Buddha nature? If he has Buddha nature, it can attain self realisation. To attain self realisation he must know his present status of being a dog. The morale of the Zen story is a dog does have the potential to become enlightened, but only in the human realm. Therefore, what should a dog do to come in the human realm? You must have seen some dogs always follow sages and monks, or sit around the religious places. The smell of incense causes desire in them to be born as human being and achieve Nirvana. 
       
Whenever I climb, I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'. Friedrich Nietzsche has compared ego with the dog. The dog is as inseparable from the human psyche as ego. The only difference is a man is governed by his ego, and the dog is governed by his master. Nietzsche climbs high, on the path of enlightenment, where the biggest hurdle is ego. The ego is obstinate like a dog. A dog will climb with the master; he will not wait for the permission. In Hindu mythological story of Mahabharata at the end, a dog followed Pandavas who climbed the Himalayas.
W. B. Yeats has old compared the old age with Dog's tail
What shall I do with this absurdity-
O heart, O troubled heart-this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to be Dog's tail?

 “Life is life - whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage.” ~Aurobindo. Man thinks himself superior to the dog only because he can abuse the power. If the dogs would have been ruling the world, they may not find the man a trustworthy friend.
Every dog has its day, but every man does not have his day. 
In a novel “Notes from the underground” the girl gave the bourgeois name to her pet dog to show her contempt to bourgeois class. In “Disgrace” by J. M. Coetzee, David the expelled Professor at University visits a slaughterhouse daily to find about a weak, skinny dog who was crippled by one leg. How does it feel to be a dog in this world? Crippled dog was helpless and deprived of any rights or pride. His life is full of shame and disgrace. Death is a solution for such a disgraceful life.

How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn't make it a leg. ~Abraham Lincoln. Any presumption about the dog will fail.
Whenever possible, replace humans with dog. Mark Haddon in his book ''The curious incident of dog at midnight'' says ''Also dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they cannot talk."
Dogs understand a man better than man understands the dog. Every dog deserves to live a dog’s life. He must be allowed to live like a dog.
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©  Vipin Behari Goyal