Wednesday, August 12, 2009

nervous nelly

he suffers from too much attention

The other day as I was walking to the train after another sluggish swim at the Y, I noticed a dog with a serious case of the jitters. This dog was not of the usual ankle height, teeth baring breed. If I had to guess, I would say it was a sheep dog or collie mix -- something with potentially manic herding tendencies, but generally not the kind of dog you see cowering in the street.

This poor dog could barely walk a straight line because every second it was craning its neck to keep a 360 degree vigil on the world. Literally, every second. Meanwhile, the man holding the leash casually strolled along with his female companion, apparently unfazed by his dog's incessant full body twitch.

Now there's no telling where this dog's nervous energy came from. Maybe I mistook fear for an instinct to surveil his owner's path. Maybe the dog was a rescue and hadn't fully adjusted to the hectic sidewalks of New York. The dog's stride was so agitated that its body was cockeyed, and its turnover was nearly double his owner's, yet it remained a step or two behind.

Whatever the background story, it was an upsetting sight and it made me think about how much effort it takes to be frightened. There's no telling what I could do if I repurposed even half of the energy I spend on fear induced, though often high level, procrastination.

*today's picture is Simon the slimer. do not let his pathetic expression fool you.


Desembarazarme said...


Poor puppy!!

And you're right about the effort required to be frightened. Good point. Maybe someday, I'll be able to change that.

eje said...

slimon is famous!