Foot and Paw Prints in the Sand – What have they to do with being a nation’s leader?
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “he’s most powerful man in the world” thousands of times with regards to the President of the United States. I sure have. I used to believe it actually.
I think most people still do believe it, especially about their own leader. And it is true to some extent, but much less than people think.
The best analogy I can think of for the powers of the occupant of the Whitehouse or Number 10 Downing St is the picture above – showing the remnants of a person walking a dog.
Except for one major difference – it is the President who is the Dog.
The question then becomes… if the President is the dog, whose are the footprints beside the dog?
That is, “Who is walking the dog?”
When a responsible owner takes their dog out for a walk in a public space, where the pet’s behaviour will be seen by many people, what does the owner do first of all?
The owners put their dog on a sturdy lead. That way, the dog can appear to be walking freely but actually, it is still under the control of the “owner”. The dog and its owner never become separated. The pet is at all times ultimately under the control of its owner.
All owners walk the same path irrespective of the size, breed or type of their pet, but each pet appears to be moving independently to public observers. Leads are a great tool.
Most pets always walk close to their owners, maintaining a close and reliable relationship over the time they are together. This close relationship normally lasts for no more than eight years.
Other pets take a more unpredictable path, meandering from side to side, occasionally even stopping to sniff and explore, but they always, come back to the intended path of the owner. Dogs on leads are allowed a certain amount of freedom and independence after all, otherwise the pet will quickly lose interest in its life and get all maudlin. Nothing worse than a melacholic pet in public is there…..
Owners look after their prize pets. They usually like their pet to look all shiny and healthy looking otherwise the public passing by won’t take much notice of their prize possession. Owners like to feel proud of their pet. Money is no object when competing in and winning the biggest competitions.
Most pets quickly realize the relationship between them and their owners and accept it. Otherwise, how else will the pet get all the freebies and treats from the owners if they don’t co-operate? So it is easiest just to kick back and obey all owner commands. Doing a few tricks will help cement your reputation.
If owners realize they have a champion in their midst, they will go great lengths to clean up after their prize pet when it does do the inevitable “whoopsee”. Well established owners will always carry a little plastic bag with them when walking the dog to clean up after their pet soils themselves with the brown stuff. It always happens at some point. The plastic bag fixes all!
“Nothing to see here folks – see, he’s as good as new.”
Occasionally, owners get a nasty surprise after securing ownership of their new pet.
It isn’t common, but it has been known that beloved and precious pets can sometimes undergo quite a personality change after getting the lead on them and hitting the wide open spaces of the beach. What the owner thought was going to be an excellent vermin catcher turns tail and in fact, sometimes cosies up to the damn varments!
This is quite distressing for the wealthy pet breeder types. It means their bloodlines are not as pure and well controlled as they thought. There is variation in the breeding process. Owners hate variations and unpredictable events. These flaws can ruin long established pet breeders’ reputations if not fixed quickly.
Long established pet owners do not get to that position overnight or by being taken for a ride. They have been around the block a few times. There are always procedures at hand to handle recalitrant pets.
The most basic technique of all is to simply cut the lead that connects the pet to its owner whilst convieniently leaving the plastic bag at home. Off goes the dog at one hundred miles an hour, its tongue hanging out in great enthusiasm! Freedom at last!
But the pet’s freedom is short-lived. You see some pets tire of being on a lead. After several years of faithful ownership, some pets forget who the owner is and actually think they are free and independent beings. That can cause discord, which if not treated, can lead to a complete breakdown in owner-pet dynamics.
Pets bought up in a household of wealthy and indulgent owners won’t last long with true independence. They will always get themselves into trouble at some point. And if the owner is not nearby with the plastic bag, then who is going to clean up the shit?
Newly independent pets have been known to withdraw from all walks in public due to the large amounts of brown stuff sticking to them. The public doesn’t like smelly pets and the odour is hard to remove. These pets are forced to withdraw from public life, but it has been known in very rare cases for soiled pets with very large and wet tongues to lick themselves clean. This takes an enormous effort and endurance and is not recommended.
There is one last category of difficult pets that requires even more drastic action should the animal tug at the owner’s lead for too long. How can we put this?
Even the most highly admired and prized pets are never safe once they break away from the owners’ designated path for too long.
In extreme cases, when pets are just too much trouble…. they are simply, well… they’re put down. It’s a sad and distressing occasion for most people to witness.
The faint hearted and animal lovers please look away now….