Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
My dog is dying. He has cancer in his shoulder. We’re all very upset. Well, all of us except the dog.
We got Griffin at the pound when he was about three years old or so, we think, so he’s probably about 10 years old now. Or so. He looks like a black Lab, but I think he’s just a mutt. He won’t get near water, and when I throw a ball he gives me this questioning look as if to say, “That was a perfectly good ball. Why did you throw it all the way over there?” I’ve only seen him swim once, and that was when I threw him in our pool (I just wanted to see if he was able to swim). So he looks like a Lab, but I think he’s a mix of heaven knows what. He’s been a great dog. He’s very friendly and social. Everybody loves Griffin.
I have friends who brag about how smart their dog is. “Cornelius is such a smart Schnizterdoodle! He can sit, roll over, and do multivariable calculus!” You will not hear me describe Griffin like that. He has the strength of an ox and the brains of tapioca pudding. He is always happy because he’s been blessed with the ability to enjoy the world around him without understanding anything about it. So this cancer thing has been wonderful for him.
He started limping about a year ago. We finally took him to the vet a few months ago, and they found a cancer in his shoulder that is untreatable. They could remove his front leg, and that might buy him six months. But it might not. So we brought him home. With all his legs intact. He was so happy that he jumped out of the car and ran over to pee on the tree that he always pees on.
It was a stellar day in Griffin’s world. This is awesome!
And it only got better. Now he gets lots of treats. Not just from us. Our next-door neighbors are spoiling their grand-dog with so many treats that he’s gaining weight. She goes to the butcher to get bones for him with lots of meat still on them. Other neighbors make special trips over to our house with biscuits. The FedEx lady missed him today and came back around later to give Griffin his daily treat. His mommy even lets him up on the couch now.
Every day he’s amazed by his good fortune.
He’s having more and more trouble walking, and can’t get around like he used to. But Griffin thinks all this is swell. As he gets fatter and fatter from all the treats, while laying around on our couch. Like me.
In my line of work, I spend a lot of time with people who are dying. I try to buy time, and make them feel better, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do. Most of them, I think, aspire to approach death like Griffin. Enjoy the time they have left. Have an extra cookie. Spend more time on the couch with your loved ones. Why spoil your few remaining days with worry and unhappiness?
But this is very difficult for most people. They know what’s happening to them, and they’re naturally obsessed with their own mortality at such a time. Griffin’s lack of understanding makes it easy for him. Griffin has no idea what’s happening around him, and he doesn’t care. But he would like another biscuit, please.
Sure, why not?
Ah, what a stellar day, thinks Griffin! This is awesome!
Some day in the near future we’ll need to take Griffin back to the vet, and end his life. Griffin won’t understand that either, but that will be a great day for him too. Because he’ll get lots of treats and petting that day, and those things make him happy.
It’s been fascinating to me, watching Griffin get weaker and weaker, while becoming happier and happier, because he’s getting more and more treats. The end is coming for him, but as long as he keeps getting treats, and can sit on the couch once in a while, that’s ok with him. He doesn’t really understand what’s happening around him.
But he understands treats. Everything else is beyond his control. So he focuses on his treats. This is awesome!
In an unrelated matter, a friend of mine told me last month that she was voting Democrat because Biden said that everyone would get free healthcare, and she expected him to extend her unemployment (she’s a waitress who lost her job during the COVID crisis). I told her that it was dangerous to ignore the long-term implications of economic policies. She said she doesn’t know anything about economics, but she knows that she wants more unemployment benefits. There are more jobs available now, but she’s making more on unemployment than she was as a waitress, and she’d rather sit on the couch and eat treats. Like Griffin. Makes sense to me.
So she votes Democrat. And she gets her treats. Everything else is beyond her control. So she focuses on her treats. This is awesome!
Eh, never mind. I forgot where I was going with that. Forgive me. My dog is dying. I’m very upset. But my dog thinks everything is awesome!
I wish I shared his lack of understanding of the world around him. I’d probably be a happier person.
When I finished this essay, I wondered which group of people would be most angry with me:
- Those who thought that I was comparing Democrats to dogs
- Those who thought that I was comparing dogs to Democrats
Just to clarify, I was doing neither.
I was simply trying to point out the power of the Democrat message. They don’t require that you understand economics, or human nature, or the world around you, or anything else. Those things are hard for people. You just have to like treats.
They also don’t require that you understand delayed gratification, or planning for the future, or hard work. Those things are hard for people, too.
But if you like treats, and you don’t think about things too much, voting Democrat can make you happy, like Griffin.
Until it all ends. Like Griffin.
Both of those endings will make me sad.Published in