This morning I went down the street to pat the neighbour's dog. I did it again this afternoon. As a matter of fact, I have to confess I've been patting the neighbour's dog a lot. I did it yesterday, too, and two days before that. The dog, which is a big brown young labrador, is eminently pattable. All you have to do is call him over, and he'll romp up to your hand and readily agree to a pat.
This is a problem. Do my neighbours know that someone in the neighbourhood is patting their dog? In fact, the more that I think about it, the more that this furtive patting seems somehow ilicit - as if I've been sneaking in behind the neighbours pat, and pleasuring their dog while they're looking the other way.
Maybe I shouldn't worry. After all, it's not as if a dog is likely to confess to its owners, "By the way, I'm being patted by someone else." But is it right? Damn it, is it morally correct to be involved in an secretive pat-and-be-patted relationship with an avuncular but, let's admit it, somewhat untrustworthy party of the dogular species? (The brown dog tried to eat my jumper this afternoon. It's almost as if he was more interested in food than relationships of the patterine kind.) And are these pats being taken by the eminently pattable brown dog instead of being directed at some other dog to whom these pats should rightly belong? (I've asked the brown dog, and my pats, but they won't tell.) Or then again, is this brown dog, in the act of patting, making up for a patless pattern on the part of its owners, who should by all rights be patting it?
These are hard questions, and I don't think I'm able to answer them.
I think I'll pop out and give the dog another pat while I think about it. Can I deliver a pat to him on behalf of any bloggers out there?
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