The Ladder of Canine Ascent

In an out of the way section of town there is a nondescript little building known as ‘The Kennel’. Dogs of all shapes and sizes have come to this location, seeking obedience, agility training and community, in hopes of becoming closer to their masters. They follow a disciplined routine here to learn ‘anthroposis’—a term that simply means a closeness to their humans, a synergy between the canine and the anthropological energies.

Sometimes it happens that the dogs in this place, are remorseful for the things they have done in the past: some have peed on the furniture, others have taken underwear and bras and have hidden them in places difficult to reach, while still others just don’t come when called, or come too enthusiastically and scratch people’s legs or soil their trousers with dirty paws. I have seen the dogs of ‘The Kennel’ apologetic, and with their tails between their legs making penance, and with soulful eyes appealing to their gods in hopes of absolution and reconciliation.

There is a ladder in this place, near the corner of the main courtyard and it is the goal of these dogs to ascend the ladder. Many try but few are able. I’ve seen some dogs falter at the first rung, brought down by an overabundance of girth. Others I’ve seen climb with great dexterity up the first several rungs, only to be distracted by a fly and then tumble to the ground. Some, appear to have the gifts to make it all the way to the top, but then in their excitement they stumble, and make all the greater noise when they hit the pavement.

Yet, some dogs I have witnessed make it all the way to the top. Many of these are old dogs, but not all are; so who can say the meaning of the ladder, it presents different challenges to all dogs, young and old alike. The young may occasionally ascend easily, but then in their happiness, forget to slow down at the summit, and then tumble over and down the other side. But the old dogs I have seen, go up slowly and methodically, and when they reach the top, they enjoy the spoils that are to be found there: a nice big bowl of dogfood, and a treat.

Oh, how joyful these canines are when they’ve made their ascent. I have seen them perched at the top of the ladder, crying out with satisfaction and seeking approval for their feat. Run! And jump! And play, oh happy canines! I exhort you to make your ascent up the ladder however you may! And do not be discouraged, but resolve to ascend, and your efforts shall be rewarded!


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