Marlowe’s Blog, Part 1 – in which I recall the turbulent events of my early puppy days
Adrian’s Note: I have invited Marlowe to be an occasional blogger here. Marlowe is new to blogging, and is learning to type, but for the moment his contributions to his Dog Blog are dictated. “Master” has promised not to exercise editorial control over what he says but to encourage free speech in the interests of hearing the other perspective from across the species divide.
Marlowe’s Blog, 28 September 2017
Where to begin?
It is with both humility and trepidation that I commit my thoughts to this medium. By no means do I consider my insights to be of especial interest, or indeed out of the ordinary, but to the extent that they may foster greater understanding between mankind and dogs, I will say what I have to say and so be it.
I arrived at Master and Mistress’s house in July of this year of Our Lord 2017 on what I knew was to be a trial basis. I was receiving temporary accommodation while my previous Master, Bruno, was on holiday with his helpmeet on the island of Sardinia and, at the same time, I was being considered for adoption, a fact that put both me and my prospective foster family under particular pressure. Ah, and not for the first time!
But let me start at the beginning…
My mother Havane, a working Cocker, lived a peaceful life at the château until one day a friend of Master Bruno’s visited, accompanied by a handsome swell of a dog, an Australian Sheepdog by breed. The latter popinjay’s tackle was in full working order and, though the coupling had not been foreseen, couple they did in the heat of momentary passion and seven puppies were begotten of that union. Needless to say, my father was never to be seen again, for thus it is with such “toffs”. Master Adrian has since told me the story of Tess of the d’Urbevilles and, were it not for the fact that the protagonists of that sorry record are human, this is most certainly my mother’s tale, though in the canine world there is little obloquy attached to such hasty liaisons, only the harsh realities of childbearing and child rearing when the progenitor of those children has done a bunk and the mother dog’s reliance on humans reveals itself at its most evident.
Thus it was that I was one of a litter of seven, and Master Bruno – overtaken by events – considered that he had little choice but to find separate homes for my siblings. One by one, over the coming months, he carefully selected adoption options, until there only remained Havane and myself, at which time I bore the name of Merlin – inspired by a triangular white colouration of my fur on the head which has since disappeared and my Master’s taste for the occult. It was Master Bruno’s original intention to keep the two of us at the château for, as he kindly remarks, I was the most handsome of the litter of seven.
In those days, before my instruction began, I knew nothing of the so-called Oedipus Complex, but my relationship with my mother was of a most passionate and active, though strictly Platonic, nature. Above all we loved to charge off across the fields and woods to hunt whatever came our way – partridge, woodcock, grouse, rabbits – it really was of little consequence. The pleasure was in the chase. A Freudian might say that we were out to “kill the father” but for us it was just an instinct, and one which I still have enormous trouble in controlling.
Alas, this state of affairs was not to last. Our protracted absences, sometimes of up to five days, would wear down the nerves of Master Bruno who would, at the same time, be wondering what had become of us, but also whether we had committed some crime or misdemeanour for which he, as our guardian, would be considered responsible. When we returned from our jaunts, his relief was visible, though the estate was too large to form an enclosure for us and so our disappearances would continue at every opportunity or, to employ the English idiom (I am learning English and am already passably bilingual), “at the drop of a hat”.
In my heart of hearts, I knew – as Master knew, to his sorrow – that this wild, untamed state of affairs could not continue thus. And continue thus it most certainly did not. I was entrusted to an elderly lady on the Ile d’Oléron, but within a week she called Master Bruno to ask him to take me back. She found I was too boisterous, too emotional. I could only hope that what to some may seem faults, to others would one day shine as qualities. I am not one for incessant barking, like some I could mention, but I must admit to other peccadillos. Yes, I leap with joy when I encounter my Master or Mistress. What dog in its right mind does not? If my claws pull a thread or two on their pullover, is that the end of the world? Is a mere garment more important than my spontaneous display of unconditional love?
And so I returned to Master Bruno and – I confess – continued my shenanigans with my mother Havane. Furthermore, I developed the obnoxious habit of chewing on things when boredom struck. The edges of wooden tables, wooden steps, eviscerating chair cushions. I hasten to add that this was not to bring distress to my Master. It was some dark force within me that pushed me to do something – anything – even when I should have been in repose. Recently with Master Adrian we consulted professional documentation on my father’s breed, and it would seem that this sorry trait is not mine alone. My crazy romping flights into the forest, across the fields, into the night, with Havane also continued apace, and Master Bruno was driven to desperation.
Thus it was that I came to the household of Master Adrian and Mistress Geraldine in the early summer of this year. Thus it was that my new life without Havane began. What did it hold it store? One thing was sure. If I was to find love and security, I must tame the wolf within…
Dear reader, I am weary after this, my first attempt at autobiographical writing. I must to bed, but also to gather my thoughts and reflections for the second part of my story. For as Socrates said, “The life unexamined is not worth living.” These thoughts were strangers to me not so long ago and, as my education continues, I sincerely hope that my insight into this hitherto picaresque life will continue too, and that I shall find consolation in philosophy and peace of heart in the bosom of my new home.