What Franco Must Think

Owning a smart dog changes you. They spend a lot of time looking at you, and you have to wonder what is going on inside that brain. I have bonded with my dog, so I probably assign thoughts to his brain that are anthropomorphic. So be it. I accept my limitations.

One thing that doesn’t seem to fail to catch me in the gut is to be travelling someplace and come upon a clearcut forest. What was once a functioning ecosystem has been turned into what looks like a trash pit. Modern forestry equipment is so efficient that a large swatch of forest can be “converted” in a very short time. I often have to look away as I think about the critters that depended on that forest that now have to find a new home.

francoThis feeling in my gut got me to thinking about a habit Franco has developed. When I cut the grass, Franco spends the time outside with me. In the beginning, he follows along with the mower and sometimes tries to bite at the front tires (bad dog!) At his age, this only lasts a few laps around the lawn, after which he finds a place to lie down where he can watch my progress. What I find interesting about the place he chooses to lie down is he always picks a place where I haven’t mowed yet.

As the circle of cut grass I’m making gets smaller and smaller, this means he has to get up and move pretty often. It he’d only lie down on a cut portion of the grass, he wouldn’t have to move. Astride my mower, I think about things like this, and imagine Franco thinking about my clearcutting of the lawn.

Maybe he is lying on the uncut part because he doesn’t like the smell of sheared plants, which the mowed part must be spewing in great quantities. Maybe he knows about the lawn-loving critters that had made the tall grass their homes, only to be evicted by my violent behavior with the mower. Looking into Franco’s eyes, I feel he isn’t judging me too harshly when viewing my lawn butchering. I think he knows that even though he loves these special humans, he’ll never understand what motivates us to do the irrational things we do. And that seems to be ok with him. I admire and try to emulate that outlook.

2 Responses to “What Franco Must Think”

  1. Shalini says:

    Another great post! Thanks for sharing your beautiful life in the UP, your lovely family (including that wild and wonderful Franco), and your thoughtful insights. It’s always a pleasure to read your musings.

  2. admin0 says:

    Thank-you for the kind words Shalini. I’m glad I don’t write for a living, because I’d have to force these stories. As it is I can wait until I’m inspired, which happens now and then. Best to you always. Ted and Alice

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