The Divinity of Dogs

Another book title I saw, and then thought of a different use for.

*

We should have known. It was in the word, even. Not in every language, but then again they don’t speak English in cat-haunted Egypt, or in the land of frogs. But in English, if you spell “dog” backwards you get “god”.

Oliver was a good dog, as we judged him. (Who is man to judge a dog, I know; but this was in a different time.) Ate what we gave him, ate no shoes, chased no cars or cats; did not slobber overmuch; did not cause trouble.

Not until I threw a ball one day, August 16th, 2013, and instead of fetching he levitated six feet off the ground, turned so his belly was towards me and his old-dog eyes looked down at me down his muzzle, calm and full of understanding.

“O— oliver?” I gasped.

“I AM HE”, Oliver said. His voice was all silver ringing bells and ocean waves and blocks of Carrara marble; it’s difficult to describe. He was… imagine a dog with its head out of the window of a moving car. Hair rippling, flews flapping, its expression full of wordless satori.

Now imagine the whole dog flapping and streamlining like that, except there’s no wind, and the wind comes from all directions at once.

Oliver’s eyes were the eyes of no other living thing. They crawled with knowledge no words could contain.

My dog had gone apophatic as fuck.

“You have treated me well”, Oliver thundered; gentle, irresistible, much larger than me. “For that I place my mark on you.”

Golden light came from him, and washed over me.

Then he was gone, upwards, in a silver bolt of light. I could see other such pillars, upwards lightning, in many colors. Red from the direction of the Johnsons’, whose dog Wetnose had been reddish brown. Black from the Svenssons’, whose dog had been Ol’ Dumbface, a black German shepherd.

From the direction of the Brauns’ house — they hadn’t been good to their dog, Fluffy — a voice like an angry god, for that it was: “BAD HUMAN! ROLL OVER! PLAY DEAD! BEG!” — their dog was really rubbing their nose in it.

I wobbled inside, where the sun of my life saw the golden halo around me, and asked: “Darling, did the dog—”

“The dog”, I interrupted, then hesitated. Then said the only words I could, and then dissolved into laughter and tears. “Who’s a god dog? Oliver’s a god dog…”

*

If you ask me, you shouldn’t title a book “The Divinity of Dogs” unless it reifies the title something like this.

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