As any of you who have read Alchemy and Shaman’s Drum will know, I’ve gone a bit of a way down the shaman’s path (via detours around most religions).
As an experiment I decided to take up a local mutt on a bet. He said I didn’t understand at all what being a dog was like. So I shape-shifted until I felt that uncontrollable urge to bottom-sniff. Mine or anyone else’s – doesn’t matter. That’s when you know you’re really a dog.
My eyesight immediately became poorer but my sense of smell hit me like a brick. Although I couldn’t see as well, I could find my way by niff. Lily, our small terrier, thought it hilarious and accompanied me down the road, reminding me that I was lucky not to have a human hauling on my neck and stopping me investigating “good bits”.
We met some people and I realised that dogs don’t see us. Just as humans will call people by a distinguishing feature if they don’t know their name: Mr. Buck-tooth or Mrs. Veg Patch, dogs call you what you smell of. The lady by the bridge is Mrs. Furniture Polish and a younger woman is “Stinky Clean Stuff” as dogs aren’t too fond of shampoo. Cleaners remind them of vets. No, they aren’t heroic helpers. Vets is generally known as “place of thing up bum” because that is the first thing that happens to a patient when they arrive. Mostly the view is that it’s a mad human form of fetishism.
My husband, I discovered, was Mr. Paté as he eats so much of it that is what his sweat smells of. Finding that my canine moniker was “Comfy Bed Bitch” I wondered if my personal hygiene needed more care.
Yes, tufts of grass on the side of the road really ARE fascinating. Like a village notice board, it is possible to read who has been by, when and in what state. Very nervous Dachshund yesterday morning, followed by randy Labrador. (no wonder she was nervous!)