The Dog in the War Zone | Street Jazz

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Dog in the War Zone

Posted By on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 2:26 AM

Our dogs, who still haven’t quite figured out that each and every doorbell ringing or door knocking on television is not for them - imagining as they do that a troop of Girl Scouts has arrived with a truckload of cookies just for them - can still recognize the barking of TV dogs, and find it beneath their notice. Occasionally they may look up at the screen, but for the most part, they can tell when barking is “acting.”

In this way, I suppose, they are one leg up on those Lost Souls who still manage to delude themselves into believing that what they see and hear on “reality” TV has any basis in actual reality.

Last week, though, came an incident on the news, a scene shot in one of the many areas of the world in which an ongoing conflict is taking place. A lone dog was standing guard next to a bombed out dwelling. And when I say dwelling, I mean there was simply a wall (with a door) , and a lot of rocks.

There were no people in evidence. For all I know, the camera person may have been the only human being around.

As the dog stood before what may once have been its home, barking in a manner that one might think of confused, if you were to apply human terms to it (and why not? Dogs have pretty complex emotional lives, as anyone who lives with them can attest), our dogs did something I have never seen before. They each stopped what they were doing and stared at the screen, not making a sound, but simply sitting still and staring.

It only lasted for a few seconds, but it seemed to me that it took the dogs a moment or two to resume their activities.

I sat there and wondered what they had heard in that dog’s plaintive barking from half-a-world away. Was it anger? Was it something akin to that of a human being who has lost everything and everyone which makes sense in their lives, and now knows nothing but fear and confusion?

Whatever the feeling transmitted through the TV screen, it was felt and understood, even if only on a primitive level, by dogs living a comfortable life here, in a world far from war.

******

This one’s for you, Uncle Teddie

Today’s blog is dedicated to Edward Price, who died this month in the town of Alfreton, in Derbyshire, England.

I wish I had finished my last letter to him sooner.

*****

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I've always felt, in all my books, that there's a deep decency in the American people and a native intelligence - providing they have the facts, providing they have the information. - Studs Terkel

rsdrake@cox.net

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