Down the Wrong Hole (Castellano)

Dog that barks doesn't bite.  Is this why wolves don't bark?

Why do dogs bark?  Among other annoying similarities, it's well known that man and dog have in common their territorial instinct; when the former seized his first piece of land, it seemed convenient to him to use the one he cynically nicknamed “best friend” as a cheap alarm.

The problem with this millenary custom is that it makes little sense in modern world, besides that it means an inconvenience.  I live in a small urbanization in the mountains consisting of adjoining houses with small plots, each one with three or more dogs that are left outdoors day and night, from where they can see, hear and smell everything half mile around…, you don't have to be smart to guess the result.  In vain I tried to reason with my neighbors, their answers where all of the kind “Hey, dogs bark” or “They're doing their job.”

Even though I'm no expert, I know that dogs instinctively organize themselves in groups as men do.  At the time when I was a child (late sixties), you could still find herds of wild dogs in the provinces of Argentina, even in the outskirts of the city of Buenos Aires.  Some, if not most, were abandoned pets, sign that at least at that time (and context) instinct was merely asleep, not dead as it seems to be today.  In our “urbanized” world this natural order is broken, both for animals and men.  A hundred children screaming and running randomly in a schoolyard, a hundred pigs stacked in a shed eating soy food, thousands of young people crowded together in a football stadium worshiping a rock star as a living totem; the order we have got used to is efficient from the money point of view, this is the economy as it stands today.  Most still tacitly assume that in the ridiculous span of our history we have learned and know better about how everything works than the vast surrounding Universe has learned and been practicing since the Big Bang; we aren't smarter than nature, we'll never be.

The alarm-pet makes sense in a country house in the middle of nowhere, a privilege currently not affordable for most, crowded as we live today only means adding more to the vast amount of noise and stress we already have to endure.  Dogs don't understand their territory ends in their owner's fence, dogs aren't able to analyze and modify their own habits according to context and need, they ignore what a vicious circle is, men however…, oops, it seems we found another annoying similarity!

Our whole social organization has fallen into a vicious circle, society does to us the same that we've been doing to our pets for millennia.  Many no longer realize that when the dog runs after the stick and brings it to our feet, it's bringing the prey to the hunter, in turn an abstraction of the leader of its pack, nor that the dog doesn't stop barking because its instinctive drive is not satisfied: no one responds to its warning call, hence the cycle never ends.  By extension, people don't realize that drinks and cigarettes don't satisfy sexual hunger, as television advertising has led their subconscious to associate.  All our instinctive impulses have been redirected, we insist on putting food into our ears, hence our stomach continues to ask for food, that's how consumerism works.

©2018 - Walter Alejandro Iglesias

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