*[While Joseph is on holiday for the next two weeks, Albie will share in two parts certain ‘DOGmas’ for young Scotties she published in blog form back in 2008. These are words to the wise for all four-leggeds trying to live the good life among Two-Leggeds. Enjoy! JGH] (PART Two)
Dogma #3: Follow the Bend in the Rule
Willie used to say: “Endorse but morph” all rules. What he meant was it’s important to be seen to go along with your Person’s rules, even while you practice “mental reservation.” Scotties, you see, Burnsie, are not like regular mortals; if we don’t march to our own drumbeat, we can’t march.
Let the small-minded call it obstinance, let They Who Know Best call it stubbornness. You stay on your course following the bend in the rule. I’m not saying be defiant or run amuck. Oh, no. The Scottie Way is far too sophisticated for that. It’s all part of self-whelping for life and of owning your distance. But you can’t know Scottie success in a two-legged world without it.
“Endorse but morph” says it all. You want the appearance of obedience without “Jim MacCrow.” You want to sign-off on ‘regulations’ handed down by the important Others in your life, but you want to reserve the right to suspend those regs in your own case if and when the situation calls for it. Following the bend in the rule is actually rather Presidential. It’s what George W. Bush did when he signed congressional laws but penned presidential exemption-rights into the margins of the bill. That’s an Oval Office version of Willie’s “endorse but morph” dogma. I suspect the President learned his practice from his policy advisors, Barney and Beasley.
Be subtle. Be kind. Always be firm. Remember: bending is not breaking. In fact, Scottie superior intellect being on a planet too often devoid of intelligent life means bending human rules quite often improves them. You can’t expect your Person to acknowledge improvement, however, since, after all, Life has not equipped them with all the senses. But you will know and your Persons will, too, someday at the Bridge.
The point is, bending rather than breaking is the Scottie way at its best. You are a natural wonder and Nature is about curves not straight lines. So always follow the bend in the rule.
Dogma #4: Size Is An Attitude
This dogma shouldn’t have to be included at all in Scottie basics but there is so much nonsense out there in the two-legged world about ‘bigger is better’ that even a Scottie lad who knows better in his bones can suffer under its spell.
And that’s what bigger-is-better madness is for Persons these days: a kind of dark magic, a spell that causes those you care about to make choices that make no sense to us who possess all the senses. Gus used to shake his head in disGUSt at trucks on the highway roaring with engines made to climb Mount Everest, rolling on wheels tall enough to straddle old-growth timber, trucks driven by weekend warriors whose Life-conquest is a barbecue grill they bought unassembled!
Bigger isn’t better. Wind in your beard is no better in a ‘Big Foot’ pickup than in grandma’s Dodge Neon. Big house? Big career? Same thing. Size, you see, is an attitude. It’s not how much you get, it’s what you do with what you’ve got.
True, you’re short by many standards and you always will be. However, in my considered opinion it’s not that Scotties are vertically challenged but only that we’re generously ‘horizontaled.’ And that is the point of this dogma: Scotties are short and long for a purpose, viz., to epitomize “the long and the short” of what Life is all about for two-leggeds so easily bewitched by the bigger-is-better nonsense.
So, Burnsie, stay on course. Don’t focus on length, or size, or quantity. That’s not where your memories will dwell when you’re an old dog in the sun. Old dogs know it’s not things but character that counts most in Life’s twilight because it’s only your character you take with you to the Bridge.
And that, Burnsie, is the story of four-legged success in a two-legged world as best I can re-tell it from my teachers. There’s more, of course, but those lessons can wait for another time.
I’m new at this ‘professor’ role, and maybe a bit self-conscious. You see, I’ve always been ‘the kid sister’ myself in our pack, so taking over running the show seems a little out of character.
But only slightly … and it took me no time to get over that! Being in charge rather suits my bones and I’m liking it.
In fact, I like it a lot. So, listen up, “Kid Piddle.” I’ve got my mortarboard and serious qualifications. I’m on a mission. Shape up or deal with MacDominatrix from hell!
School’s in session! And I’m ringing your bell, big time.
Joseph Harvill, publisher of Great Scots Magazine
*First appeared in slightly different form in GSM, Sep/Oct 2006