Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:52 am

I wrote a new short story; in line with my last one you might remember "Pop Bottle Empty". Maybe someday it might end up being a book.

At any rate, the new story of post-singularity is called "Every Dog Has His Day", and it is very short, but I think, sweet.

Naturally, I am overly eager to have people read it.

The link to Every Dog Has His Day is:
http://www.pasteldefender.com/story2.html




And just for grins, the original Pop Bottle Empty:
http://www.pasteldefender.com/story1.html

All are stored in the Omake section of PDH, here:
http://www.pasteldefender.com/omake%20mainpage.html
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby arex » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:08 am

I really liked the dog story. I've forwarded it to a few people.



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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby strange_person » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:46 am

Spotted a typo.
expectation&ldots


Other than that, great story.
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Tearlach » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:40 am

Brilliant.
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Monocheres » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:49 am

This was utterly awesome! (SQUIRREL!!) Thought-form of a wag-wag-wag.

Edit: I've just got to say, the image of all those Ascended, Post-Singularity, Uber-Doggie entities cocking their cute, eager virtualized doggie heads (no doubt wrinkling their virtualized doggie brows and perking their floppy virtualized doggie ears in the process) is just so ... choice.
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby draque » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:12 am

Great read. I loved imagining all of the doggie technology that they would come up with. ^^
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Plasman » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:06 am

This is a sweet story, Jennifer! It's sad that the humans forgot about the poor doggies, but then that unfortunately reflects the state of things now, in some cases at least.

I'm guessing that you're not a cat person, then, Jennifer...? :mrgreen:
I somehow doubt that an evolved cat species would go to the trouble of finding a post-Singularity human race. They'd probably spend their time looking for the lost planet of Fuchal, while bickering over what colour hat to wear. ;]

draque wrote:I loved imagining all of the doggie technology that they would come up with.

How about... the Stick that Fetches Itself? The Tail Catcher? Eau de Compost?
I'd also expect to see some interesting culinary delights: Dead Squirrel a la Mode; Squeaky Toy Surprise; and of course, Fecal Matter Truffle Selection... :oops:

Okay, leaving the topic now before I get smacked with a newspaper -
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Monocheres » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:27 am

I think that any cat worth its salt would consider the whole notion of "Singularity" to be (sniff) entirely superfluous. Why, a cat, in and of itself, is already a "Singularity".

Ahem, you may now serve me my tuna.
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Coda » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:36 am

By that reasoning, an Ascended cat would transcend perfection! ... wait, this sounds disturbingly like a certain trato-yauronic contraption I've heard about...
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Monocheres » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:00 pm

Plasman wrote:
draque wrote:I loved imagining all of the doggie technology that they would come up with.

How about... the Stick that Fetches Itself?


Yes, that would be the breakthrough that gave them faster-than-light drive.

Plasman wrote:The Tail Catcher?


And that gave them their version of the Spindizzy antigravity field.
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:10 am

Yes, I am a 'dog' person.

I like cats, and cats definitely like me, (too much, since I am desperately allergic), but I am way preferential towards dogs.

I'm not big on anthropomorphizing animals (except in art and storytelling, of course), and I enjoy them being what they are - completely different animals than Man. A cat is very good at being a cat, but a cat is very far from having any deep connection with an ape, which is to say a human.

Don't get me wrong - I am not implying that cats are incapable of forming attachments or any other such nonsense (cat lovers, just settle down now!), rather that cats, house cats, are not primarily social mammals. Big cats can be, some of them (most aren't), house cats are essentially solitary. They don't actually need a human around, and as solitary hunters, they mostly just tolerate the convenience of having humans dote on them. It is possible they have adapted the act of purring to actually enhance this benefit during their domestication, but I never have any illusion that they are capable of truly social bonding and interdependence. It isn't their nature, and that's OK.

Cats, beautiful and graceful, relatively low maintenance, as I said, are very good at being cats.

But dogs really have co-evolved with us funny apes. They have no culture of their own anymore, which is why in feral packs they can easily take down wolves (if they do not turn on each other first); wolves will ritually submit, but dogs have no law. The only culture they have anymore is what we give them. They are dependent upon us.

Dogs really do know more of our body language that of their own species, they retain only some of their native canine 'language'. I've learned a bit of it; try getting down on all fours in front of a dog, elbows on the ground, make sure your hands are in front of your head, lower the front of your body and arch your ass up - that is Dog for 'Let's Play'. That is the dog word for 'Play'. It's still hardcoded into them, they haven't yet lost it, and all dogs know that word. Speak that word to a receptive dog, and he will consider you a friend for life; it seems to matter to them somehow. Greatly. It's an amazing reaction, actually.

Be sure a play with them for a bit, after, though. Dogs have some form of a sense of 'social fairness' in them, and can be distressed by unfulfilled expectation. A social animal trait, just like in humans.

A dog is capable of an actual social bond. I like that. Dogs need hierarchy, just like humans, as well as structure, purpose, and trust. Dogs understand the function of loyalty, as well as the evolutionary super-adaptation of personal sacrifice. Just like apes. Just like Man.

Above all, dogs can robustly communicate, and be communicated with. Dogs can take instructions, and also give them, if one pays attention, and the situation is appropriate. They can act as useful, functional partners, not just as ornaments, and can accomplish real work.

My great-grandfather had a sheep ranch. He would feed his main dog a fine steak dinner every night. The reason? He claimed the dog did the work of ten adult men. If you have ever seen video of modern sheepdogs working, a traditional activity, it will seem unreal, impossible. It is incredible.

A skilled Shepard can not merely pilot a living sheepdog (using whistles and hand signs) with such precision that the dog might as well be a remote-controlled robot - but that dog can also reason out how to do the same job entirely on its own, in its own way, and succeed. The Shepard almost doesn't need to even be there, save that the dog will feel slighted if its partner shirks.

I am fascinated by that.

Mutuality, trust, communication and cooperation. With an entirely non-human species. Dogs provide that.

The interaction between dogs and humans is so robust and profound that I can easily understand how people can start thinking of dogs as basically 'furry little people', rather than domesticated, co-evolved canids. In a way, perhaps they are, a little, what with all the evolutionary adaptation to cooperate with us.

But in the end, they are not human, and they truly are alien; they are dogs, and their world and their life and their senses are not ours, and their thoughts are not human thoughts, though I do suspect their emotions are like ours.

I suspect all emotion in all life is like ours. All pain, all sorrow, all love, all fear, all anger. Because it is very essential to life and survival, and very primitive and very universal in what it is based on biologically. I strongly suspect that we feel the same emotions as any other form of life, because we all share common neurotransmitters, common neurons and neurological components, and in the exceptions, commonality of overall form and function. All life shares much in terms of genes and structure.

No fear means no survival. I am sure the fear of all life is the same for all life. A universal sensation shared by all creatures.

Why then not also anger, love, and more?

That said, it is doing a disservice to dogs, or cats, or anything else, to imagine that they are little humans in there. They are another species, and that is just astonishing. It is amazing to be able to share deep relationships with another species.

Dogs permit the closest and most robust version of that wonderment. They alone can live with us, share all our (primitive) work as equals (guard, hunt, war, search, track, shepard, haul, pull, defend, and so on), and demonstrate deep and abiding social loyalty to us, all despite being a very different species.

Yes, I am definitely a 'dog person'.
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Plasman » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:54 am

That is fascinating. I'll have to try and use that "Play!" word next time I'm around a new doggie - provided it's not around strangers; it'd require a little too much explanation.

This theme of co-existence with animals came up in another thread. A good point was raised by Monocheres about how it's important to respect a housepet as not merely a "little human" but an independently-thinking animal.

I should also say something else:
Idiot Glee, Jade Cat, and other cat-alikes, I offer my humble apology. Oh, and a jumbo bag of catnip. :kiss:
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Tychomonger » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:28 am

Dogs are also an ethical source of renewable meat!

http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp08032009.shtml

But seriously, you can form a bond with a cat just as you can with a dog, and they did also co-evolve with us. Cats have a please-pay-attention-to-me-now purr, which embeds a tone in the same frequency range of a human baby's cry, by vocalizing as they purr. The louder the tone they add, the harder it is to ignore the purring.

My cat is upset when I'm away from home a little longer than he is accustomed to and meows at me for a couple minutes when I get home until I hug him.
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Monocheres » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:29 am

Cats do have social behaviors but they're different from dogs.

The first is that there is a mother-infant bonding behavior that has become hyper-extended in cats. A human owner can play the role of mama cat for their pet's entire lifetime. This is one of those cases of neoteny that is so common in our domesticated species. Likely it was selectively bred for sometime in the neolithic past. Or maybe it was a case of natural selection: adult cats who could act cute and kittenish around humans might have got more handouts. You can enhance this behavior by making sure to spay or neuter your cat, so that they remain in a juvenile state hormonally. Female cats who have gone into heat and had litters tend to lose this infantile form of affection and become more aloof. I don't have much experience with intact toms because I've only had indoor cats and an intact tom tends to urinate to mark territory. But I suspect all that testosterone would make a tom more aggressive and less affectionate with humans.

The other behavior is something known as "clubbing". Cats sometimes just like to "hang out" together. They may not touch or groom each other but they seem to like to sit around with other cats in the vicinity. Dogs hunt together in packs so they need to have more social hierarchy and bonding, whereas cats are solitary hunters who need to establish exclusive territories that they must defend from encroachment by other cats. But despite this territoriality, or at least in those places where territory isn't an issue and food sources aren't threatened, cats sometimes like to congregate. Not exactly sure what, if any, function this behavior might have "in the wild."
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:18 am

Monocheres wrote:Cats do have social behaviors but they're different from dogs.



Now this is the kind of information I need to hear, to better understand cats. Thank you! MOAR!!!
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Plasman » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:27 am

Here's some stuff I found:

National Geographic article on Domestic Cats
Wikipedia article on Domestic Cats
Catstuff: Why does a cat do that?

I read recently that cats can learn to prompt their owners to feed them, by using a high-pitched meowing that rises in pitch. I believe it. :frown:
I also know that if a cat rolls over onto its back when you approach it, it's a sign of submission and acceptance (and also an attempt to get food out of you).
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Coda » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:22 am

It's true. "Meow?!" means "where's the ___?" and the blank is filled in by contextual clues. I have two cats -- littermates, about three years old -- and Calvin (dark-furred Maine Coon) uses that particular vocalization to get you to follow him, at which point he will demonstrate what he wants: food, water, clean litter, or even just attention (he likes it when I watch him eat sometimes). Hobbes (short-furred orange cat with darker stripes) is less vocal but will join in if I've been neglectful of the food dish, and has developed his own non-vocal communication. He knows how to put on the "kitten face" which says "I want you to tell me I'm cute" -- yes, cats can be vain.
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby strange_person » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:08 pm

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Hello!

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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Volair » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:03 pm

Both this, and Pop Bottle Empty are awesome, awesome stories.

I really want to see the protagonist of Pop Bottle Empty go on-- there's something terribly interesting about a character who believes herself to be a soulless copy of a being that did have a soul. Clearly she'd have lost any reason to stay with the holdbacks, and maybe she'd become an odd sort of hero, working along side the ascended post-humans and commenting on the post-human condition from her unique perspective.

Dog Day: Gorgeous, gorgeous story. Man I'm in love with these ascended canines, in many ways better beings than us, in many ways better beings because of us. Gorgeous. Honestly I got kind of choked up. Yeah I'm a wuss, shut up.

Kinda like the idea of cats following much later, after having built resorts all over the solar system and basking in the glow of Alpha Centauri and making a big show of having found us casually.

"Oh, there you guys are. Is there anywhere to get a good slice of cheesecake out here?"
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Re: Every Dog Has His Day

Postby Monocheres » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:20 pm

Volair wrote:"Oh, there you guys are. Is there anywhere to get a good slice of cheesecake out here?"


Cheesecake?

Mouse soufflé. Think: mouse soufflé. With canary sauce.
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