Tuesday afternoon I fell down the stairs.
Silas was barking at something, so I trotted down the stairs to see what was wrong. Not because I thought anything was wrong, but because sometimes my checking can get him out of the cycle. Three steps from the bottom I got my feet caught up somewhere. I grabbed at the railing and landed with a thunk on my knees, fortunately on the last (carpeted) stair rather than on the tiled entryway.
I expected neurotic Silas to run from the scary noise. Instead he ran right over, obviously concerned about my well-being. Or, I don’t know, maybe checking to see if I’d invented some terrifying new game, but I prefer the former interpretation.
I’d spent the better part of the day reading about dog nutrition–the canine body reduced to an absolute science. Grams and milligrams, ideal fat ratios, protein percentages. Symptom Y needs nutrient Z. (It’s a very good book. I’ll review it ASAP.)
Then I clicked on Patricia McConnell’s DVD of For the Love of a Dog. As part of her opening remarks, she says, to sum up, that we like to intellectualize our relationships with our dogs as much as possible. We have training constructed as science, with extensive research and emphasis on precision–and dogs have, largely, benefitted from that.
But, of course, what our relationships are actually about are emotions. “People didn’t refuse to evacuate New Orleans,” she says, “because they had a rational, intellectual connection with their dogs.”
That’s when, for the record, I started to sob into my salad. This is what happens when you over-intellectualize your life. The messy stuff comes out . . . messily.