Barry Knister: RETHINKING THE BABY SUBSTITUTE, PART ONE























RETHINKING THE BABY SUBSTITUTE, PART ONE

Today's post focuses on dog fanciers, and their object of interest. Or, as the FBI might say, their "person of interest."

Often, dogs and cats are thought of as baby substitutes. Those of us suffering from one or more of the diagnosed disorders related to dog obsession would be more comfortable with children classed as puppy substitutes, but we'll leave that alone. The writer wants to avoid a lot of harsh email from parents and grandparents.

What might serve everyone better is to dump the whole baby substitute idea and replace it with marriage. Or, better yet, with extra-marital relations. If you own a dog or cat, you can ponder this idea in terms of your own experience. If not, please consider me a fairly reliable source.

Honest people know the concept of 50/50 marriage is nonsense. It’s the sort of thing dreamed up by counselors, to encourage couples to believe that a few dozen extra sessions at two hundred dollars a pop will lead to a finely tuned, symmetrical equality.

We know better. For those without human mates, dogs can serve very well to solve the equality problem. For instance, if you are a passive person, a carefully chosen dog will provide the sort of strong leadership and authority your style of neurosis calls for.

And if you are a take-charge type, the dog—properly chosen by breed and appropriately trained—will serve in the role of docile, appreciative spouse. I mean the kind traditionalists grow wistful thinking about, with none of this 50/50 nonsense.

In the photo above, a woman is interacting with her companion in a certain way. Again, the concept of marriage, a contract between two people who choose to be connected in legal and other ways should be applied. It isn’t true, of course: the dog is not allowed to agree to or cancel the deal, so think instead of the arranged marriages still common in much of the non-Western world.

The dog, a Yorkshire terrier, is not a male, so this is a same-sex union, a common-law marriage involving a license, but with fewer of the cumbersome legal issues that figure in human-to-human arrangements.

Obviously, this duo can’t be called a union of equals. The dog is asserting her right to be “in your face” with her mistress (“mistress” in this instance being an obvious misnomer). Even so, the master/slave connection, usually thought of in terms of abusive men and denounced by feminists, is here being played out femo a femo.

In her human marriage, the woman is in fact a strong, assertive person. But with her Yorkie lover, we see her happy to drop the burdens of command. At last, she is free to give herself over to the guilty pleasures of the love slave.
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