04 January 2010

Hobo Follow Up

Perhaps my fun with the subject of the lost Hobo was not in the best of taste. It had the air about it of talk about others behind their backs. But I had no other suitable venue. Certainly I could not post those remarks on The Civil List. I would have been hunted down like a dog in the street--no pun intended.

It is just that the continuing exchanges between expatriates [I misspelled that word in a very unfortunate manner recently] in The Civil List about the best choice of dog food in México, dangerous dog food México, the best veterinarians, veterinarians to be avoided, lost dogs, dog groomers in México, this and that and the other thing about dogs seems at times to be overwhelming, most particularly because of the soupy rhetoric employed. As a person who choses not to cohabit with animals, I can only look on all this with amusement mixed with perplexity.

This is only tangentially related, but a passage from Ernest Hemingway's Death in Afternoon cropped up in my mind--a very controversial passage through the years since 1932 by the way. In my own experience there seems to be no middle ground regarding Hemingway among readers. They either love him or hate him. Setting all that aside, however, I checked the book out of public library with my brand, spanking new library card in order to get the passage word for word:

From observation I would say that people may possibly be divided into two general groups; those who, to use of the terms of the jargon of psychology, identify themselves with, that is, place themselves in the position of, animals, and those who identify themselves with human beings. I believe, after experience and observation, that those people who identify themselves with animals, that is, the almost professional lovers of dogs, and other beasts, are capable of greater cruelty to human beings than those who do not identify themselves readily with animals. It seems as though there were a fundamental cleavage between people on this basis although people who do not identify themselves with animals may, while not loving animals in general, be capable of great affection for an individual animal, a dog, a cat, or a horse for instance. But they will base this affection on some quality of, or some association with, this individual animal rather than on the fact that it is an animal and hence worthy of love. For myself, I have felt profound affection for three different cats, four dogs, that I remember, and only two horses; that is horses that I have owned, ridden or driven. . . .

I continue to ponder that.

My own count over a lifetime would be three truly extraordinary dogs and one very extraordinary cat. There was one less than extraordinary pony with personality, too.

Oh, and by the way,

Hobo is home, safe & sound and very clean
Sunday, January 3, 2010, 4:48 p.m.
d wood wrote:

Someone was obviously caring for him. Linda (owner) wishes to thank all who were watching out for him. God certainly was. He knocked on door himself and it was a very joyous reunion I'm told. d wood

Was it God Himself who beat me out of my one thousand pesos? It is some comfort to know that since Hobo knocked on the door himself, nobody else got the one thousand pesos either apparently.


Anonymous said...

re: Hemingway. I read most of his books when I was in my teens, before I knew that so many people disliked his work. I haven't gone back to re-read them, but I do remember some of the books well and at the time I liked his work very much. One of these days I'll have to revisit some of those books and see just what I think about them today.

Four Dinners said...

Most importantly Hobo is back safe and well.

Could I be cruel to animals?

Never (although I do eat meat so I guess I turn a blind eye to slaughterhouses. Couldn't live without me bacon butties)..;-)

Could I be cruel to humans?



'Cause we're the only animals on the planet that kill for other than food, destroy our world like it doesn't matter etc etc etc.

I couldn't be cruel to my wife or family - cept me mother....old bat...;-) nor could I be cruel to blogmates for example. I could easily be cruel to the people who club baby seals given half a chance, and to whalers....

Hemingway may well have had a point!