So this is going to come at you from a little left of center, but it’s a wash-out this morning and the worn-out leather couch at Starbucks has swallowed me whole. So I’m in a more existential mood than usual.
I feel like it’s an extremely grounded person who can decide, smack in the middle of their life, exactly how they should be reincarnated the next time around. I mean, I guess you really have to be pretty comfortable with who you are here and now to make concrete decisions about how you want to come back in your next life. (This is all, of course, predicated on the idea that we actually have a say.) And I feel solid enough with myself at this stage of the game that I think I’ve made my decision.
So after much thought and consideration, I’ve decided I’m coming back as a dog.
Now I’ve spent some real time over the last two or three hours kicking this around and I really think that as far as reincarnation options go, a dog is the best choice. At least for me. Besides, my mother-in-law already hosied being a tall, blonde bitch, so that’s out. Too bad, too, because that would’ve been my obvious first choice. And a dog honestly seemed like the next best fit for me.
I mean, we’re all coming back, so I might as well reconcile myself now to how I’m going to spend my next life. That way I can start making some plans. You know, get ahead.
Clearly, I love dogs. Always have. And since dogs are one of the world’s most domesticated and popular animals, the likelihood of me finding a good home is high.
I haven’t narrowed it down to a specific breed because I do actually feel like there should be some element of surprise. Like when you have a baby. You know you’re having something and you’ve got a 50/50 shot at one or the other, so you might as well wait until the big moment to find out what you end up with. As long as I know the basics, like number of legs I’ll have and the relative type of food to expect, I feel like the rest is incidental.
Although, between us, that food piece is really my only stumbling block. Because I do love food so very much and I’m not sure I can manage on a straight diet of Eukanuba. So I may have to consider being a wild dog so I’ll have more free-range options. Although, then that gets me into the feral dog community and those guys are tough. They’re like the Hells Angels of dogs. And I straight up refuse to rip out some other dog’s throat just to get a chicken leg out of the trash. That’s too barbaric for me. So I’m still weighing my options.
When I think about it, I can really see myself lying on a fluffy rug in front of somebody’s fieldstone fireplace day in and day out. Preferably in Colorado. On a vista. With lots of land. In a log cabin with high ceilings and central air and a dog door built into the kitchen door. (I tend to go pretty deep into my own head on rainy days.)
I also love to snuggle and be scratched, which, in itself, represents a major percentage of a dog’s life. And since my own kids have more or less outgrown cuddling with me and neither one of them is apt to scratch me anytime soon, this is my shot.
And we haven’t even talked about the running. Oh. My. God. The running! I could do it every day, all day. I could run rings around my human past self. I mean I’d have twice as many legs, so just imagine the possibilities. And I’d be so sure-footed! I’d be like one step away from a mountain goat. And as long as I had flea and tick guard, I could run anywhere. Then, after I ran as far and as fast as I wanted, I could come home (conveniently slipping in through my little dog door so as not to disturb anyone), collapse in front of a roaring fire, and have someone snuggle and scratch me until I drifted off to sleep. Then I’d dream I was running. Because that’s what dogs do. And when I was sleep-running I’d whimper and kick my little hind legs and my little human family would love me. Because everyone loves when dogs do that. They’d probably even love me more than my real family does when I do that now. Because when you sleep-run as a human it’s just considered bizarre and embarrassing.
And I feel like I’m pretty low maintenance now as a human and some of that would probably carry over into my dog life. I’m really good about keeping myself clean. (Although I’m not sure how I’d reach certain places without digits.) I love to play catch. I love road trips. I think anyone who knows me knows I’d be sticking my head out the window all the way up to ski country if my kids would let me. And I’d be completely satisfied with a simple, yet colorful L.L. Bean slip collar. And maybe one of their premium therapeutic fleece-topped, memory foam dog beds. In plaid.
And I’m pretty good at occupying my time just thinking and observing life, so I think I’d be satisfied without needing to talk. I’m always up for a game of catch or Frisbee and who doesn’t love to roll around in the grass after it’s been mowed? And if I can convince Dave to come back as a dog too, then it’s a win-win. Because I’m sure we’d end up being adopted by the same family. After all, there’s a decent amount of karma factored into the After Life, right?
So at the risk of being preachy, I’m suggesting you give your After Life plans a little thought, too. You don’t have to make any impulsive decisions, just kick the idea around for a while. And remember, tall, blonde bitches and dogs are filling up fast.
Lisa Sugarman lives in Marblehead. Read and discuss all her columns at facebook.com/ItisWhatitisColumn OR follow her blog at https://itiswhatitiscolumn.wordpress.com.