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The “I Wanna Be a Dog” Blog

Interpretation by Pat Carlson

I don’t usually write directly about the interpretations of these poems because I want you, the reader/observer, to decide what it all means for yourself. But today I’m breaking my rule. Why? I suppose it’s because I realized that my reactions to the original poem and its clever interpretation (above), which created a second poem, are quite different.

Here are my thoughts.

Even though the SHE in the original poem wants to be a pampered lap dog, I lean more toward the ranch dog. The fact that I’m currently van-camping, writing off-grid, seeking out service spots to post, bathing out of a pan or (if I’m lucky) in cold rivers, and doing all of my bodily vacating in the woods is a testament to the fact that I’m willing to subject myself to cold nights in exchange for the freedom to run wild.

No stupid pink bow for me.

But then I read the redacted interpretation — She wants to be a young, energetic thing who has freedom and fun and expects absolutely nothing except unconditional love — and I see this new poem in a totally different light. Boiled down to a completely human, I-don’t-really-want-to-get-old, essence. 

I just celebrated my 50th birthday and while I’m truly and absolutely grateful that I can attach that number to myself, that I’ve made it this far with pretty minor physical ailments and little regret, I have to say that when I find myself yawning at 8p.m. verses 1a.m., or my knees are crunch, crunch, crunching with each step down the stairs, or I look in the mirror and see gravity doing its unwelcome downward yanks, I read this short, boiled down version of wishful thinking and I have no argument with it. In fact I find myself nodding and saying, Yep, me too.

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