Rhythm of his water drinking

Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein walking their poodle, Basket, in Paris.

“Basket although now he is a large unwieldy poodle, still will get up on Gertrude Stein’s lap and stay there. She says that listening to the rhythm of his water drinking made her recognise the difference between sentences and paragraphs, that paragraphs are emotional and that sentences are not.”

— Gertrude Stein,
from the perspective of Alice B. Toklas, in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (her punctuation and spelling preserved)

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I just liked this little passage from The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, as it reminded me that our dogs can sometimes teach us things that we don’t expect. Have a lovely weekend! We’ll be dog-walking for our rector and his family this weekend and I, of course, am looking forward to it (even though our rector’s wife told me it was regrettable that she couldn’t tranquilize the dogs for us; apparently, they’re quite a pair).


Unqualified, unconditional regard

Click for source.

“Another human being will never bring us to the same unqualified, unconditional regard that a dog does. Our full immersion in language brings with it qualification and condition; once we enter the world of signs, we can never again be so single-minded.”

— Mark Doty, Dog Years

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Happy weekend, everyone! Hope it is restful. I may be arranging a small play-date between Bo and Zoe while their owners are out of town. Should be fun! Let’s just up the Bo-ster isn’t too rambunctious for Zoe, the dignified older woman…

Poem by Marie Howe: “Buddy”

A sweet poem about how we can often misunderstand each other.

Click for source.

By Marie Howe

Andy sees us to the door, and Buddy is suddenly all over him, leaping
and barking because Andy said: walk. Are you going to walk home? he said.

To me. And Buddy thinks him and now, and he’s wrong. He doesn’t
understand the difference between sign and symbol like we do–the thing

and the word for the thing, how we can talk about something when it’s not
even there, without it actually happening–the way I talk about John.

Andy meant: soon. He meant me. As for Buddy, Andy meant: later. When he
was good and ready, he said. Buddy doesn’t understand. He’s in a state

of agitation and grief, scratching at the door. If one of us said, Andy,
when Andy wasn’t there, that silly Buddy would probably jump up barking

and begin looking for him.

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Happy weekend, everyone. Hope you all stay cozy and warm!

Something is always escaping

Source: Shirley Bittner.

“Try to say what you love about your partner, or what it is about someone that produces in you an intense state of erotic excitement or longing, or even how it feels, precisely, to have a fever–soon it’s obvious that we, too, are only partial citizens of the world of language. Something is always escaping; dogs are a kind of figure, an extreme example of that difficulty, and it makes them all the more cherishable.”

— Mark Doty, Dog Years

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! I will be back at the blog in January. Looking forward to a much-needed vacation with family and friends down south. Hope you all enjoy very peaceful, happy, and dog-friendly holidays!