Sunday, January 25, 2009
The Horror Of It All
Puppy and I are exhausted. Two days of a benched show -- chained to some bolt-like-thing on some surface as hard as rock. Somebody please call the SPCA! Can you see the torture that Andrew and I had to go through? Oh, the questions about my feet and Puppy's bibs. I have a headache bigger than a mastiff. St. Joseph's Extra Strength Aspirin For Newfies, where are you?
But there was some fun in all the nonsense. I got to see Aunt Mer, Aunt Heidi, Aunt Jill, and Aunt Dawn, and a lot of friends we hadn't seen since our days in North Beach. They gave us love and support. Unfortunately, some of our aunts who used to parade as friends did not so much as stop by and even say hello to us, much less give us a pat on the head or throw us a bone. We received far nicer treatment from others who also had Newfies with them. They offered us water and cookies, and congratulated me on getting Winner's Dog on Saturday. (Maybe we've had it all wrong for far too long.) And bless Uncle Jeff and Aunt Blossum for loving us and taking such good care of us.
Most of all, we got to spend a few days with Gizzy's mom, who came all the way from Canada to see us, help out Dad, and cheer us on. You just can't imagine a nicer person with a nicer hubby and a more gorgeous Newfie. Aunt Cindy, we love you with all the slobber we could even muster.
But the weekend was marred and this cannot be ignored: you see, the person who bred us and was at the show did not so much as even acknowledge our existence. Nothing. Not a nod, not a smile, no congratulations. In short, complete disregard. Now folks (and even I) call me "Scoldy Boy", so I can possibly (ever so remotely) see her ignoring me because she always has. But Puppy? Puppy is the sweetest thing on the face of the earth -- he is pure joy. Ignoring Puppy is like . . . well, I just don't have the words it's so Daffy-Duck-despicable. So I'll tell you what I think because Puppy doesn't carry such thoughts: it's that this person is only about money and we're no longer a source of money to her, so we're not worth what she sees as a waste of her time, er, dollars. No breeder, much less anyone who knows a Newfie, can be considered anything other than completely vile for acting as if we do not exist. Yet for two days, being no more than 30 feet away, nothing. To her we are just food for the crow because there is no longer profit for her in us. Dad says his Mom used to say, "let your conscience be your guide". We'd say that to her but it assumes the existence of a conscience. And anyone who bred him yet would ignore Puppy is beyond description, outside the realm of the senses.
Today we must, therefore, say a prayer for the ten, because who knows if she ever has. It simply gets self-servingly referred to as "an accident", as if to imply the absence of fault. Yet anyone with an ounce of humanity would live by the words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
"Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns,
And till my ghastly tale is told
This heart within me burns."
(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, vv. 582-85.)
As Primo Levi so perceptively wrote in The Drowned and The Saved, "human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument. The further events fade into the past, the more the construction of convenient truth grows and is perfected."
Judgment day, by judge, jury, and more importantly, by the Newfie Gods, still awaits. We would not wish to be in your shoes.
Bless our friends and may there be not contempt but rather sympathy for the others.