I am a schnauzer. I assume you are a human. I have big brown eyes and whitish grey hair as you can see from my picture. I wonder what your name is and what you look like.
I usually write dogs, cats, turtles and fish, but I do like you humans too and that’s why I’m writing to you. Do you have any interest in becoming my pen friend? It’s nice to stretch and grow by getting to know a lot of different people and creatures, viewing life from various perspectives. I learned that from my human friend, Carol Ann.
I usually view life from a big, plush, gold cushion that sits in front of a large glass door in our enclosed porch. It’s from this place that I watch the world go by – people in cars and trucks, people walking dogs, people on bikes, and all sorts of runners. I watch them travel Streetsboro Street, my street, in my town of Hudson. I watch them and I wonder where they are going, what they are thinking, and if they’re dreaming dreams as I am. Yes, I’m a curious schnauzer. Are you a curious human?
What things keep you busy? Do you work outside the home? I take “business” trips every day. Oh yes! These trips take me all around my historic town of Hudson, Ohio. I think Hudson is a charming town and I think you’d like it. It was founded in 1799 by Connecticut people. They called this northeastern part of Ohio “The Land of the Western Reserve” for it was part of Connecticut’s great western expansion way back when. Walking through my village you’d think you were in Connecticut because the old architecture has a real New England look to it. My house was built in 1853. We love old things, Carol Ann and I. But I digress.
I love the sights and smells I encounter as I scamper along on my walks and I especially love the smells. My “business” trips combine work with pleasure. Aren’t we lucky if our work can do this? Do you find pleasure in the work you do? Oh, I hope so.
I don’t take off on my “business” trips alone. I take Carol Ann with me. Carol Ann is my very special human friend. Do you have many special human friends? Carol Ann protects me from losing my way and darting out into traffic. I protect her too — from everything and everyone else. If anyone comes near her, they’d better watch out. I bite! Some say I’m a bit over protective, but I say ‘better safe than sorry’. Do you have someone special in your life too, someone you love and watch over?
Now let’s talk about fun. Do you have any? What does it involve? I love to eat. How about you? Besides my basic cuisine of Purina Moist and Meaty dinners, I just love broccoli and carrots. Vegetables are good for us and they taste good too. I hope you eat your vegetables. I love to eat, but I never learned to cook. You?
I also enjoy following Carol Ann around the house. That girl hardly ever stays in the same place. Upstairs, downstairs, from the kitchen to the bedroom to the library she goes. I like to keep my eye on her, keep her in my sight, because she tends to sneak away from me — sometimes for an hour, but sometimes for a week or more. I hate that! I get so lonely without her even though she sends in a caregiver to keep me company. I probably need more hobbies, but there’s only so much a dog can do, even a smart dog like me. I’m not making excuses for myself, but I hope you humans appreciate all the things you can do and take advantage of them.
I do like when people come to the house visiting. Do you like company too? Unfortunately for me, I get a wee bit too enthusiastic with our guests. I could just “eat them up’ – literally! I like to nip at them even though it gets me in big trouble, like the time I took a tiny little nip out of one of Carol Ann’s piano students. You’d think I bit her head off! Jeepers! How some people overreact. I barely scratched the girl’s surface. I’ve heard some humans take a little nip every now and then too and those nips can be just as much trouble for them as mine are for me.
But let’s get back to the subject of enthusiasm. I personally think it’s better to have too much rather than not enough. Do you know the Greek roots of the word enthusiasm are en = in and theos = God? Yes, it’s true, so I figure the more enthusiasm I have, the better my chance of getting into heaven. Are you a spiritual thinker like me?
Other things I like to do are loaf around the house and sleep. You? Carol Ann wonders how I can sleep so much of the day and still sleep through the night. I tell her, “It’s easy!”
One of my favorite authors, Paul La Fargue, a very smart human of the 1800’s, wrote an intelligent article entitled “The right to be lazy”. I’m with him!
Another very clever human, Oscar Wilde, wrote: “Inaction is noble”. He wrote an essay in 1890 called “The critic as artist”. In this essay he said,
“…to do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual … it is to do nothing that the elect exist. The contemplative life, the life that has for its aim doing nothing, but being, and not being merely, but becoming —this is what the critical spirit can give us – the gods live thus …”
You may have known that dogs are smart, but you may not have been fully aware of just how much intelligence and critical spirit we really have, nor for that matter, been aware of our skill in writing interesting and thought-provoking letters. Well, now you know. I can’t speak for all dogs, or all animals, but I am an artist. I heard someone define an artist as someone who is in constant touch with his true nature – well, that’s me. Might you be an artist too?
It’s been a delightful pleasure writing to you, but now I must go, more “business” to do, but I hope you enjoyed my letter. Feel free to write back to me. I’m like Carol Ann. I’d love to hear from you anytime.
So aarrf arrff and toodle loo from me, Alexander.
ps. If we get to be good friends you can call me Alex