The Soul of a Dog

I’m not sure why I haven’t been inspired lately… I open up the computer and I start typing, and then I stop. I stop and think… well, what next? What gives????? I’m thoroughly annoyed with my inability to write with passion, humor, and wit. There’s a dog running back and forth in front of me… carrying a lacrosse ball in his mouth- dropping it and catching it, then repeating it….  It’s kind of driving me CRAZY! The dog is named Fenly, and I should mention that he’s mine! When he’s not chasing a ball, he’s usually chasing my cat.

YES… I have a dog. Fenly, Fenly Pants, Fuzzy Face, Fur Face, Face, and Stinks. Just a few of the many nicknames he’s acquired. When I first got Fenly he was a flea ridden, worm infested, little bugger, who was afraid of men and couldn’t hold his bladder for more than a couple hours. Now, he’s pushing 80 pounds, eats a healthy diet, and wouldn’t dare let me out of his sight (unless he’s sneaking into the basement to grab a quick snack from the litter box). EWWWWW I KNOW!!!! He’s all dog, but he’s also just a little man trapped in a dog’s body. Ever think of that? It’s a great concept that I first heard when reading the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Here’s a little excerpt from the book:

I’ve seen it on TV. A documentary I saw about Mongolia, of all places. It was the best thing I’ve ever seen on television, other than the 1993 Grand Prix of Europe, of course, the greatest automobile race of all time in which Ayrton Senna proved himself to be a genius in the rain. After the 1993 Grand Prix, the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV is a documentary that explained everything to me, made it all clear, told the whole truth: when a dog is finished living his lifetimes as a dog, his next incarnation will be as a man.

I’ve always felt almost human. I’ve always known that there’s something about me that’s different than other dogs. Sure, I’m stuffed into a dog’s body, but that’s just the shell. It’s what’s inside that’s important. The soul. And my soul is very human.

I am ready to become a man now, though I realize I will lose all that I have been. All of my memories, all of my experiences. I would like to take them with me into my next life—there is so much I have gone through with the Swift family—but I have little say in the matter. What can I do but force myself to remember? Try to imprint what I know on my soul, a thing that has no surface, no sides, no pages, no form of any kind. Carry it so deeply in the pockets of my existence that when I open my eyes and look down at my new hands with their thumbs that are able to close tightly around their fingers, I will already know. I will already see.

Then there’s the true story  from 1920s of Hachiko (Richard Gere starred in an Americanized movie).

SO, I ask, if this is true, what kind of little man is Fenly? He has a scruffy face and the deep brown eyes that really almost DO look human. (I know I’m using botched grammar, but just let me say it like I feel it). His eyes look like he has a soul, dark brown, and knowing. When I talk to him he seems to know what I’m saying (most of the time). He cocks his head to one side, as if to say, “tell me more, I’m listening.”

I’ve always teetered on the edge of scientific vs ethereal explanations for things. I’d like to believe that reincarnation is possible and that our souls are constantly reliving life in pursuit of perfection; that our brains are just the organs that let the soul express itself. I wouldn’t call myself religious by any means, it’s difficult to affiliate with any specific religion when I feel like I don’t fit into any of them-especially when so many wars have been fought over which is better. I can say that I am spiritual, in that I believe in the human spirit and try to treat people with dignity and respect regardless of how they express their soul.

WOW! Surprise, surprise, I went off on a tangent. I’ve skipped a lot of the in between stuff like: stories of dogs protecting their owners or Lassie stories where dogs save people and other animals, without being trained to do so. I think what I’m getting at is this…. if a man is a dog’s best friend, what is dog to man? Is a dog truly waiting to be reincarnated as a man???

Thank you Fenly for coming into my life. I’m enjoying the entertainment and love you bring to my soul.

I leave you with this, a lawyers final statements in a court case where a man was being sued for damages for shooting his neighbor’s dog. This is the speech that popularized the concept of man and beast being best friends.

“Gentlemen of the jury, a man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow, and the snow drives fiercely, if only he can be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.” – George Graham Vest

Man's best friend

A statue of Old Drum, as the deceased beast was called, stands outside the town’s courtroom. Sadly for the Warrensburg Tourist Board Senator Vest didn’t originate the phrase, but he may have read it in a US newspaper, as it appeared in print fifty years earlier in The New-York Literary Journal, Volume 4, 1821:

The faithful dog – why should I strive
To speak his merits, while they live
In every breast, and man’s best friend
Does often at his heels attend.

Honey-Lime Marinade


Honey has been known for its healing properties for thousands of years – the Ancient Greeks used it, and so have many other peoples through the ages. Even up to the second world war, honey was being used for its antibacterial properties in treating wounds. But with the advent of penicillin and other antibiotic drugs in the twentieth century, honey’s medicinal qualities have taken a back seat. That might be about to change though. Check out this article for more information.

1/4 cup lime juice
2 TBSP Honey
1-2 TBSP Thai Garlic Chili sauce
1-2 TBSP chopped Cilantro

Mix all ingredients together and use to marinate your favorite seafood. I think shrimp or scallops work best for grilling or broiling. I drizzled some over halibut filets, then broiled.

Serving ideas:
*seafood over mixed field greens with berries and almonds
*add a tablespoon of olive oil and create a salad dressing (we used this over our mixed field greens)
*create lettuce wraps and use grilled/broiled seafood along withyour favorite filling
*serve over fennel and blood orange salad

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