|Snoot and Tehya|
The Eucharist is not a chew-toy: Why My Dogs Are Roman Catholic.
I should have more respect than to eavesdrop on my dog Snoot when he is praying but from what I overhear he may entertain some questionable forms of Eckhartian creation spirituality with universalist overtones but I long ago gave up attempting to challenge Snoot's or anybody else's divergent theological suppositions--Yet when we leave Snoot home alone I put "Nature" shows on the TV for him to watch but perhaps I shouldn't presume that he would enjoy watching wild packs of free roaming timber wolves chasing down fleeing caribou while he lays on soft carpet gnawing a green toothbrush shaped kale and chia-seed stick (and I choke down my vegan bean and sawdust burger) when what we both crave is to tear the throats from of our prey drink their blood howl at the moon and dance naked around a fire swinging fists full of entrails into the air while ripping bites from the raw bloody hearts of the vanquished--
"Civilization" is the most violent word imaginable especially after it's horrifying apocalyptic phase is accomplished and it has begun to somulate its victims with "Adventure Cruises," "reality TV," and populist mega-churches leading to the false worship of an imaginary Snow White Xmas-card religion celebrating a Disney-Christos born painlessly in a spotless manger surrounded by Bambi, Thumper, and Mrs. Possum, when the actual Bambi was Jewish (written by Felix Salten) and he and the rest of the forest animals were refugees running for their lives from anti-semitic falangist maniacs intent on genetic/religious purity and destroying the forest for their own profit--
Perhaps that other infant messiah, the brown Palestinian Jesus can help me resist these "civilizing" projects and maybe its this outsider Jesus who barely escaped with his own life once as a baby when CEO's concerned about commodities markets and the bottom-line figured it was more economically efficient to just kill every newborn in the ghetto rather than take a chance on a future hostile corporate take-over--maybe its this alien survivor Jesus that is the one being discussed by the other soon to be slaughtered sheep in their own secret language and who are wondering whether this peculiar 'Messiah' will oppose and confront the slaughter of ALL of the innocents or will he just gorge himself on beers and God-father's pizza while cheering his brain-damaged home-team to another Superbowl victory or if instead he will he become a wild desert coyote prophet messiah who burns like volcanic magma against the empire's principalities and powers while hanging about with tax-collectors, whores, and lepers, exchanging barbs with the daemons he extracts and transplants into the herds of tiny piglets who clog our minds and arteries and who will at the last trump be cast into the lake of Lipitor--
Our dogs Snoot and Tehya love it when company comes over because they get more attention and food is always getting dropped on the floor so the other day some folks came over and we were exchanging japes and jibes and watching the romantic comedy "bringing up baby" and peacefully bantering in a cozy little house chuckling at this movie couple's antics who are so obviously in love with each other but are having such a hard time consummating the relationship because of an endless series of mishaps and hijinks--*oh how will they ever get together?*-- there is wine and moldy european cheeses we pretend to enjoy within the parameters of socially administered Jouuisance and all the rules of acceptable interaction are unconsciously being interpolated and obeyed--imagine us as an Althusserian community of yellow-labs who have learned to carry our leashes in our own mouths as our sashaying flaneurs amble about the town without exercising any apparent means of external control over their thralls as exactly on cue we grinning golden-hearted dog/angels wag our bottoms and choke back our repressed rage--
Kathryn Hepburn reads: "…'he's three years old, gentle as a kitten, and likes dogs.'" She puzzles, "I wonder whether Mark means that he eats dogs or is fond of them?" But our stomachs are full and we're all a bit tipsy/drowsy and our two dogs Snoot and Tehya are laying on their sides like two bloated heifers snoozing oblivious to the dramas---until Snoot lifts his head and begins licking his testicles right there in front of everybody so we'alll just sort of ignore him and swirl and snuffle our shardonay but then Tehya takes an interest in Snoot's private parts as well and gives them a quick sniff but decides that a dropped prosciutto wrapped canapé is more interesting so she lunges for it when this transgressive act of wolf code-breaking expropriation incites some dormant instinct deep inside Snoot's limbic cortex where some tiny amt. of wildness I haven't lobotomized yet with 'atta-boys' or 'bac-o-bites' survives and it awakens in him with such violent fury that he pounces on Tehya like a velociraptor to claim his right of possession and restore the household pack to the established dog-order while we humans are all too shocked to move when this terrific dog-fight breaks out--
Now Tehya is a Siberian Husky with fine sharp teeth and she is much closer to her Canis lupus ancestors than the Malamute mongrel Snoot is and so she battles tooth and dew-claw for the right to the canapé and in an instant my 9 X 12 carpet is transformed into a battle-field stained with blood, fur, and cured meats as two ferocious beasts attack growl howl and snap at each other--its not a fair fight though, it seldom is, but Snoot is a boy and he's got 20 pounds on Tehya and he eventually bites her so hard that she yelps in pain and surrenders by rolling onto her back and offering her throat and soft belly to her masculine overlord--Snoot cowers over her scanning the room defiantly as if to ask if any of the rest of us wine-swilling domesticated E.D. plagued males wants to question his authority--but the entire incident only lasts maybe 10 seconds and we are all still too shocked by this breach into barbarism to even move but just as I start to rise from my chair to defend my sweet baby girl, Snoot on his own accepts Tehya's surrender allowing her too rise to her feet and then they begin to nuzzle and lick at each other playfully a bit when the next thing you know his ears go half-back and his tail stiffens and now Snoot starts sniffing Tehya's private parts and then just like that he is humping away at her backside even though his testicles are in a dumpster behind the veterinarians office because although he has been "fixed" sometimes phantom urges compel him to just keep going through the motions in a humiliating sacramental parody--
So when people ask me why I assume that my dog is Roman Catholic I tell them that its because its the church where they hang a half-naked life-like statue of an executed terrorist up on the wall for everyone to witness--its a church where Jesus' wounds and blood haven't all been sanitized and tidied up and the whole filthy mess tossed into the dumpster behind the chapel because in the Catholic church they worship blood and they make more and more of it each time they gather turning water into wine--wine into blood--and then that blood mingles with our blood and other bodily fluids through a miracle of redemptive miscegenation and for just a few moments each week it overflows the gilded grails we keep constructing for it in the blasphemous hope of containing and controlling the power that inheres to sacrificed hemoglobin and as we sing elegiac sagas ministers scurry about attempting to mop-up any of the blood that escapes onto the floor contaminating our shoes so we won't track it out into the parking lot or streets, shops, or homes, but still sometimes you can see those bloody trails drying and fading in the early sunday morning sun or being washed away by rain and tears, after the music changes into a silent whistle and we beasts who have been broken and bred to civilization take our leashes back into our own mouths as we lead ourselves out into the life-like machine world of blood-less grace.
God bless and obliged.
p.s. I started writing this at morning Mass recently the day after Tehya died as a sort of a farewell obituary. We miss and love her.