He’s San Diego’s Red Dog. Or Edinburgh’s Greyfriar’s Bobby.
Dogs accepted by people collectives as part of their community.
Bum was a stowaway on a steamer from San Francisco in the mid 1800s or thereabouts, a St Bernard cross Spaniel who built relationships with local traders he called by to visit on his rounds of the city.
Of course in Australia these days it couldn’t happen – collectively we can’t stand dogs anywhere near us and we’ve forgotten, or forgetting,or discarding, or disregarding, or dishonouring, the age-old contract between the only species on Earth to form a genuine and willingly mutual relationship with human beings.
Sure, we love our cats but they’ll bolt out that door without a backward glance and they’ll come home when they feel like it. Everything else we have to pen up to get them to stay.
If you’re a loyal master, that dog will be there to greet you at the door when you get home, fence or no fence. Food or no food.
These days we’d catch, imprison and euthanase Bum, Red Dog and GB, for no other reason than they exist outside our laws; just like we’d write off Jesus for being a public nuisance or having a mental illness – not that all these Jesuses running around the modern world don’t, it’s just that we’ve lost, or are losing, the ability to judge situations, and respond to them, on merit.
Last night I went to the game!
THE game. The BALL game.
A chance encounter with Lars from Wisconsin and there I was sitting 10 rows from the front on my $6 ticket, watching a game about as exciting as cricket. This was A-league and they could hardly hit that bullet ball. San Diego Padres vs Washington … somethings.
A bright green diamond, an American anthem, Lars to explain the scoreboard and a slow game on the field.
The only thing that mattered was I was there, hummin’ one line from an old Grace Jones’ record ‘take me out to the ball game, take me (pause) out to the park’.