How I Feel About My Dog, or How 19th Century Men Felt About Women

In Depth

Oh, how bonny she is! Jumping up and down with glee, for we take a walk this morrow.

Yes, do sit and wait patiently, like a good little beast.

Just look upon these sweet cheeks. Yum yum!

Of course she likes it when I kiss her facefolds.

All right, so she pulls away—but was not her species created for my pleasure?

Her greatest happiness is to serve.

Now now, you see one of your own across the park, but let’s not talk and tarry too much to-day.

I’ve got much important business, and we must hurry home.

Be good, my pet, I told you not to whimper.

What’s wrong, sweetie?

How could a pet so beautiful be so sad?

No no! You must cheer up!

Would you like a treat?

Ah yes, a morsel or two should do it!

There there. Honey, this is not a good time to play; I must read great literature.

Do sit me next to me on the couch and I will stroke your pretty head as I improve my mind.

Oh, look there! Shhh, quietly now!

The poor dear has fallen asleep!

She’s having a little dream—she makes gentle movements in her slumber.

How beautiful she is, my pet. What fetching little ears.

My pet.

I wonder what images dance across her small brain’s puppet show?

I suppose I’ll never know…

Text by Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Fellow in Austin. Illustrations by Emma Steinkraus, an Iowa Arts Fellow at the University of Iowa.

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