Dear God, I Need a Doggy Break

I want to be a dog. I’m a little tired of the pace of humanity, and I want to just simplify, simplify, simplify. (With deference to Emerson, one simplify isn’t enough for this kind of change.) So I’m writing a letter to God. If I can formally explain my position, I might get this well deserved break. The first issue is God’s form of address. It strikes me that Dear God isn’t good enough. You address the pope as “His Holiness, the Pope,” so I think a letter to God should go something like this: His Eminence The Most Supremely Powerful and Infinitely Honorable Dear God, I’ve been a human for some time now, and though I appreciate the nature of human nature, I’ve had enough for a while, and I humbly request that you accept my application to become a dog. This may be unusual, but if you allow me to explain, I’m confident you’ll agree with the soundness of my reasons and the benevolence of my purpose. Chiefly, I would like a break from the complications of modern life. I would like some time in a simpler world, a dog’s world, for the following reasons:
  • Dogs don’t have to read disclaimers and fine print. They don’t have to watch commercials. They don’t have to guard against scandals or swindlers. And as far as I can tell, no dog ever had to consult an attorney to decide what’s right.
  • If another dog doesn’t like you, you know about it. There’s no lying or pretending, just a lot of barking and growling. If another dog likes you, you know that too. I prefer that kind of simple honesty.
  • As a dog, there’s no pressure to refute an argument, defend an ego or say clever things.
  • Dog’s are never prodded to “maximize your potential” or “look slim and trim” or otherwise measure up. I’d like some quiet time where I can just live for a while—simply live.
  • I want to learn how to keep my priorities something like this: friendliness, playing, sleeping and food, a simple agenda indeed.
  • Finally, girls seem to like dogs, so it’s my only hope of being a chick magnet. I admit that this is a selfish reason, so if you make me an ugly dog, I’ll accept it with the grace and ease dogs have in accepting themselves as they are. In other words, I’ll be a good dog.
If you find it in your discernment to grant my request, I’d like to be a regular mutt dog, not a pedigree, please. Humans judge pedigrees as much as they judge other humans, and I’d like to be free of that for a while. I don’t want to have to stand right or walk right or speak right. In fact, I don’t want to have to speak at all. I’d like some simple, quiet time. As your friend Mahatma Gandhi said, “In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.” So I request you grant me this indulgence, a direct experience in utter simplicity, a personal experiment in life outside the human condition. I may not be the most qualified, but I’m the most willing. Please hurry. I’m ready when you are. NOTE: There’s a follow up column, My Day as a Dog