"Learning to live and living to learn"
This is a cautionary tale of sorts - the sad, sad story of Buster Brown, the saddest dog in Toronto town. If this tale doesn’t strum the heart-strings and cause a welling of the tear ducts, then, you must surely be a cold fish indeed.
Lily, (the dog who must be adored), told me the story as we were relaxing on the divan yesterday evening. Apparently, she heard it from a Scottish nobleman by the name of Angus McSad, who was Laird on the remote and desolate, Isle of Sad, which is located far north of the Shetlands islands, off the coast of Scotland. Angus lived alone, which is not surprising since there isn’t must to do on the island except sit around feeling sad. Sometimes, a year would go by before Angus would see another human being and when he heard the story of Buster Brown from a visitor from Ontario, I’m told he reached for the box of Kleenex, 4-ply tissues which he always carried with him and said, “Now that’s sad!”
One point of clarification which I think is worth mentioning before we continue with our story, is that Angus, who, by the way had extremely good eyesight due to the predominance of carrots in his diet which grew all around the island on account of the damp climate, was not, in any way, related to the Marquis de Sade, who, although also a nobleman, stimulated a whole different set of emotions which are worthy of consideration but we will leave that for another day.
Buster Brown used to be a happy dog because, for many years, he was the center of attention and his humans were very liberal with their affection towards him. He loved nothing more than to stretch out on the couch and have his tummy tickled for hours on end. His humans would never make a decision without first considering his needs and desires, and overtime, he got used to this state of affairs. It never occurred to him that life, for both humans and dogs, is an ever-changing rollercoaster of events which are difficult to predict and so, as with the possibility of black ice on the roads on a cold, clear winter’s night, you must always brace yourself for the unexpected.
But then, one day, another human appeared on the scene. But this human was not like the others, for he was small, lay on his back most of the time, flailing arms and legs and making the most idiotic sounds that Buster had ever heard. But this was not what caused Buster’s sadness for the source of his malaise was the effect that this diminutive had on all the other humans in the vicinity. For whenever the slobbering little articled hooved into view, the humans would lose all sense of propriety and start cooing like demented pigeons. Not only that but they were constantly passing the little tike from one to the other, as if he was the puck in a particularly exciting game of ice hockey between the Blueshirts and the Shamrocks.
As a result of the whole situation, Buster became distraught and overcome with jealousy, but what could he do? He was no longer the center of attention and was left alone to stew in his own self-pity, or so he thought.
I sincerely hope that before too long, Buster will realize, as we all must do, that the circle of life is an ever-spinning wheel which can change at any moment and without warning. Nevertheless, we must carry on as best we can, lest we end up like poor old Angus during the many cold nights on the Isle of Sad with nothing but a bunch of carrots and a box of Kleenex to keep him company.