We were sitting, transfixed on the television like so many in the country. Seated faithfully as if in the pews on Sunday morning. Left to right: myself, Vee Vee, our miniature pincher, Kolohe, our toy fox terrier, and my partner Jim. This was not our typical night of viewing. No wondering how our heroes would escape the hordes of approaching zombies for the umpteenth time or who would be eliminated for a lack of imagination and not being “fashion forward.” This was real life and it mattered to everyone watching, if they realized it or not. We were awaiting the grand jury decision on the possible indictment of the police officer in the shooting of Michael Brown.
We had discussed the case many times since last July and as a result, moderated our expectations in anticipation of disappointment with the decision. Still the tension was high and our pets took notice. They each selected one of us to pay a bit more attention to that evening, instead of their usual naps and the ceremonial licking of the ice cream bowl. Instead of their usual lounging positons, Vee Vee had her head in my lap with a constant upward gaze while Kolohe stood in Jim’s lap. We waited until the last minute to start viewing, attempting to avoid the ruminations of the news anchors. Usually the dogs would not join us to complete the nightly viewing formation for at least 10 to 20 minutes after we were seated, assuring no interruptions by phone calls or whatever daily event needed finishing touches. It was as if they knew we were going to need the moral support.
As the news conference began and the decision was announced, I looked at Jim, sighed, and mumbled an expletive. Vee Vee jumped into my lap and began licking my face. I noticed Kolohe was doing the same with Jim. As our disappointment moderated and we continued to watch, the dogs never left our sides nor did their attention waver. After over an hour of viewing transpired and the events in Ferguson descended into riots and police actions, the dogs decided we had enough. Both leapt off the sofa and started walking back and forth toward the bedroom. We took notice and heeded their suggestion.
As we were transfixed by the outrage and frustration of the Ferguson decision, our dogs did what they could go help us cope with the frustration in their own way. They seem to be aware of the folly of the superior species on the planet and the pain we so regularly inflict upon each other. Makes you wonder who the pet is and who is taking care of whom.
Dr. Bland is the owner of Dr. Bland’s Vet House Calls. He can be reached at 964 673 8579 or at doctorblandvet.com