Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, I will begin by saying that this is not the FB equivalent of the Youtube ploy of using cat videos to enhance shares and God forbid traffic to the store. Nor is it a modern update of the National Lampoon cover from my youth which depicted a dog with a gun to its head and the caption “Buy This Magazine or We Will Shoot This Dog”. I am also aware that by abandoning, even temporarily, the trademark image of the yellow and blue storefront which the community has grown to love, I might alienate all my followers in the Netherlands, for reasons I have previously outlined. My reason, as I will explain, is entirely different.
This is my dog, Dune. I have long held that Dune is a special dog, but recently, I got proof of that fact. A couple of months ago, I found Dune on the front deck eating what was left of a couple of sheets of paper. I extracted the remnant from his mouth, unfurled it, and discovered that it was a Grey Highlands Secondary School Grade 11 Math Take-Home quiz belonging to someone named Billy V. I was instantly transported back to my own high school days and the phrase “It really is true!” popped into my mind.
I completely forgot about this incident until last week, on a lovely sunny day, Dune was holding a page of a book in his mouth as he surveyed the neighbour’s cow pasture fondly.
I had been struggling recently in my attempt to settle on my next writing project. I have begun and abandoned my last couple midway, mainly because I lacked the necessary faith in them to drag them across the finish line. My recent branding as a FB outlaw was also weighing on me, since everyone knows they are the guardians of truth in whatever guise it might assume. I am reminded of the bishop who, upon reading Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”, said he didn’t believe the half of it.
I walked over to Dune and removed the page from his mouth. My eyes lit on the passage below, perhaps because it was underlined with saliva, one that I later discovered was penned by Giovanni Boccaccio:
“You must read, you must persevere, you must sit up nights, you must inquire, and exert the utmost power of your mind. If one way does not lead to the desired meaning, take another; if obstacles arise, then still another; until, if your strength holds out, you will find that clear which at first looked dark.”
I was about to thank Dune for this revelation when he got up and picked up his Chewbacca chewtoy and the moment was lost. I have been watching him closely since that day, but there have been no words of inspiration or encouragement hanging from his lips. I promise that should there be more, I will post them. I have grown concerned that perhaps my posts have lost some of their appeal anyway, Every dog, they say, has his day, and some of them turn out to be Masters.