Friday, February 26, 2010

Book: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

We are very sensitive to issues of race and inequality. As dogs, we face prejudice at every turn. We're sure you've seen the signs at stores and restaurants that say, "Only service animals allowed." We're continually being told that we're not as good as those well-behaved service animals who don't have the sense to disobey. Look at this foolish dog, obeying humans mindlessly.

So the message found in 'The Help' rang particularly true to us, we bitches have been put down by humans, service animals, even cats at times. The 'help' in Stockett's book refers to the black maids that take care of white families. The help knows intimate details about their lives, raise their children, and are in on their darkest secrets; and yet the white families still treat them as inferiors.

This is one of the best books we've read in a long time, a historical fiction set in Mississippi during the days of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. It explores the racial tensions, class tensions, and bonds that grow between people despite impossible circumstances - we never cease to be impressed by humans dogged pursuit of meaningful interpersonal relationships no matter their circumstances. This was an excellent read.

So, the next time you are impressed with a service animal, just remember the privileges that we, loving family members and beloved blogdogs, are forbidden, just because we don't wear the right kind of vest. Sit at the front of the bus? Hell, we aren't even allowed on that bus. Where is our Rosa Barks???

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion. It all starts with the thin end of the wedge.

Once, I talked my parents (my dad prefers that I call him my "handler"--whatever) into sneaking me into a restaurant with a sign that said, "No Dogs Allowed."

This they did with a clever dog carrier that looks like a faux Louis Vutton hand bag. It has air vents and special zippers, and, best of all, looks fashion smart.

Once seated at the table, I drove the wedge in a little farther by pushing back the zipper and sticking out my head. The waiter gasped, but my cuteness overcame him. (I'm a Maltese and don't even shed, which I quickly explained to the waiter since soup was being served.)

It bothered me that dad, a.k.a. my handler, laughed uncomfortable and tried to make good with the waiter by downplaying the situation. (He is weak and denigrated my strong character by calling me his little 'punt'.)

Well, back to my point, the waiter was overcome by my wit, and it didn't hurt that a lady next to me gushed how adorable and then ordered an expensive desert so she could take the full measure of my cuteness.

In the end, I got out of the bag and sat on mom's lap while she and dad split a calzone.

I recognize we all can't fit into a handbag. But I strongly suggest that the Bitches consider a similar Trojan Horse strategy. I can envision a huge duffle bag--the kind with wheels and an internal frame--being customized with air holes. Consider it.