Poetic Licence: The Inner Life Of A Dog

DOES YOUR pet have an inner life? This was one of the questions asked at a recent conference on the scientific study of consciousness in Tucson, Arizona. Yes, say one or two philosophers. No, says a dog owner.


On evidence produced so far

The border collie on my chair

Who daily sheds his weight in hair

Is not au fait with Schopenhauer

Or not as far as I'm aware.

When pressed, he wouldn't say as such

That lying around in my back yard

He'd ever toyed with Kierkegaard

But quietly nadgered at his crutch

As if the question was too hard

And then the Third World Debt arose

What might the western nations do?

He didn't seem to have a clue

But ran his tongue across his nose

Straight after drinking from the loo

While touching on the recent test

Of lndia's bomb - how did he feel?

The threat of conflict. Was it real?

He tried to mount a dinner guest

Which rather ruined the evening meal

And when I mentioned haute couture

He took a time to comprehend

But hinted that a recent trend

For rolling round in goat ordure

Was de rigueur for man's best friend

So had he read Anais Nin

Or ever surfed the Internet

And e-mailed to a fellow pet?

He much preferred the kitchen bin

Was all the answer I could get.

Martin Newell