Steppenwolf’s Shadow Puppet, the Hessian pet guarding Manifest Destiny, climbed back into Grandmother Hubbard’s bed, not to devour her, but instead to companion her, snuggled canine-fetally at her toes.
What’s in domesticity for me? asks the pack predator in flock frock. Surveying this plain of sheep, anticipatory saliva pooling in the maw as if a bell had been rung. Is it so simple as to answer:
Was killing “innocent” ewes such a hardship that required amelioration? Is exemption from the food chain observed by all species as universally good? We have some conception of what agrarian and livestock agriculture did for human consciousness (I’ve got an idea!—what about gods that look like us, who have the same focuses, menial tasks that we do—[not to mention shortcomings! How can we, the flawed, engage perfection]), but what did it free dogs up to do?
For one thing, it seems to have redefined the meaning of “pack.” No longer dedicated to an Artemisian hunt, the incorporation of other superior species into their fold must hold some answers for how humanity engages its species-hood. Our own desire for domestication beyond the utilitarian emphasizes our struggle against loneliness and isolation, as key to the species as it is. We do not consider canines our equal in capacity (we might talk to them, but anyone who talks with them is a fringe lunatic, not your daily variety), but they service a consequential need. Not just for the blind, but also for the anxious (emotional support animals) and lonely (companions).
We are all becoming more anxious these days because deep down, even for the religious, we’re watching our God-thrall diminish. Fox news, sly devils they are, recognize the landslide, and animate the fear and anxiety over a displaced monotheism, declaring War! on Christmas-haters and a-religious folk. Pitchforks have become assault weapons, and the difficulty to assuage is escalating.
However, with a positive message, without abandoning the underlying mythologies of Salvation, Afterlife and Rapture (or eastern-wise: Mindfulness, Enlightenment and Reincarnation) and an end to Suffering and Loneliness that is alternative to the Death of the self, we can rebind humanity to a generic, self-fulfilling prophecy.
The wolf didn’t cry, she bayed. Because her mythology of dominance through pack dwindled. She became hungrier and angrier, for the food of her youth found itself stolen in hook-traps, and her pack grew gaunt in their deprivation. She lost control, and they had lost power.