Customs

I’m still getting use to all of the different human holidays – there are a lot to remember! – and they all seem to have different customs, which I’m still trying to learn. This past week marked the beginning of the largest celebrating season. You see, my people have birthdays which fall into the same week, so we have been having special dinners with special desserts all week. It’s not easy to remember whose birthday comes first, but it’s not really important as long as I’m allowed to share in the festivities. Except this year my people actually went away for a couple of days and I didn’t get to go! If you can believe it, they actually had the nerve to put me in a kennel!

I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, Daisy – how did you cope?” Well, frankly I was fine until they returned. That’s when I was subjected to a private screening of their travel photos. I’m not quite sure how the custom of subjecting holiday photos onto a captive audience started, but I truly believe it is cruel and unusual punishment! What made them think that I actually wanted to see where I wasn’t allowed to go?!?

To the credit of my people, they are always trying to educate me. They tell me that even if we don’t visit a place or experience a culture we should still learn about them. I think that’s why we watch a lot of cooking shows and National Geographic programs. I know that they were trying to educate me about what they saw at the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC but frankly they freaked me out. Now honestly, if you were me and they showed you this photo – (after they implied that they had a great time without you) – wouldn’t you be a bit unnerved?

I mean, what would you think? They tried to explain that this was a special exhibit for the November 2nd observance of the Day of the Dead – but given that I didn’t know what that was – I wasn’t comforted. I took it personally. I thought that they didn’t want me and wanted me dead. I shouldn’t have stormed off in a huff and gone to bed, but I guess I was still upset about not being able to go in the first place. That’s when I had a really, really bad dream.

In this dream, my people had gone on a trip to Washington, DC to attend a rally (my people like rallies). When they arrived, they were greeted by dead royalty. The royalty welcomed them and told them that they were glad that they had journeyed to the land of the insanely sane. They were told that this was a magical land where anything could happen but probably wouldn’t. They were told that this was a place of great history, where people gathered for many reasons so their voices could be heard by people who weren’t listening. The atmosphere was zoo like, with many characters walking about. But they were all nice people, just trying to find their way in a crazy, crazy world.

I started to bark and howl, because my people looked lost in such a huge crowd. It was beginning to look like my people would never find their way home to me. It seemed like they would wander in the marble city forever – that they would be lost to me, that I would never see them again – when I suddenly dreamt that they met two super heroes. And even I know that super heroes always help people, even Washington, DC super heroes!

The next thing I knew, my people were shaking me, trying to wake me up. They tried to reassure me, but I was so grateful to see them again I just wanted to lick their faces and cuddle in their arms. I just wanted to remember the moment; their smells, the sound of their voices, all the great memories we shared together. I never wanted to loose them or forget them, ever!

I told them about my dream and how I was afraid of never seeing them again. “Daisy,” they said, “that’s what we were trying to tell you about the Day of the Dead. It’s about remembering all the wonderful things about those we love who are gone.” My people went on to explain that it’s not about wanting someone dead and it’s not meant to be gruesome. They said people around the world celebrate their departed relatives in different festivals and with different customs. But no matter how we do it, we are all alike in that we pause to remember those who have meant so much to us – even our canines.

Well after that, I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t listened to them earlier. There are just so many human customs – frankly, being a canine is just so much easier!

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