Sunday, 1 February 2009
The Mighty Shogun
Here he is, the mighty Shogun. No, he's not mine, and no, he's not ET's little brother. He's a 'Chinese Crested dog' and he belongs to my Polish friend, Ewa, who took this beautiful portrait of him.
I've been thinking of Shogun, with the realisation that his name may have the ring of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Japanese Shogun was a Commander of the Armies, a person of tremendous power and influence. However, the title also implied that the office was temporary. The name also meant, 'office in a tent'. Temporary. Could be removed or even collapse in an instant.
Thus it has been for Shogun.
When I first met him, last summer, he was making free around his Polish estate. Extensive grounds, large country house, a pack of other dogs to boss around. Shogun was leader of the pack, even if some of the pack members were considerably larger. Shogun could shriek for Poland if anyone or anything threatened him - and he did so, frequently.
He ruled his estate with authority - first through the dog-flap, first pick of the food. He had a choice of homes to visit, with a meal in every one. He kept his figure trim though, by burning up so much energy in the control of the rest of the pack, human and animal.
Shogun's tent collapsed.
With no warning or consultation he was put in a travel crate and taken to live in America.
He encountered a skunk.
He has only one home to control, one meal-dish to sample (unless he's stealing the cat's food, which he probably is). His pack is drastically reduced, his power likewise.
The no-longer-mighty Shogun.
Life will never be the same again.
Be careful what you call your dog!