Sunday, April 30, 2023

#120 / Joy


Joy is the proper response to the gift of life that God or something has bestowed upon all of us day after day after day, and then at some point for no more days.... Famously, dogs have a natural gift for the ethical obligation of joy. Our dogs, my dad said, were great role models. He was correct.
I am not much of a "dog person." I might as well confess that, right off the bat. I also have to say that I found "How I Became A Vet" somewhat "weird," to pick a way to describe this short story, which can be found in the March 6, 2023, edition of The New Yorker magazine. "Vet," by the way (though I am pretty sure you don't need this explanation), refers to the author becoming a "veterinarian," not an armed services "veteran."

If you click on this link, The New Yorker will perhaps allow you to read Galchen's story, even if you are not yourself a subscriber to the magazine. As I say, "How I Became A Vet" is a weird kind of story, about how the veterinarian narrator (a female) figures out why a series of otherwise unrelated and apparently "normal" dogs are jumping out of cars, or are otherwise jumping over a specific bridge railing, in the town in which she practices veterinary medicine. Her animal patients are of all persuasions, from cats, to dogs, to parrots, to horses. The "Vet" figures out the mystery - why those dogs are jumping over a bridge railing and injuring themselves - which is when she becomes a real "Vet." In the process, to give the whole plot away, the narrator loses her veterinary job with some kind of corporate animal care facility. That loss of her job does not, apparently, appreciably diminish her joy at becoming a real "Vet."

I draw your attention to this story - a "weird" story - only because of the quotation I have duplicated above, which comes from the very start of the story. 

I agree with the "Vet" that our proper response to being alive is, as she says, "joy." 

Dogs can give us a clue. And so they do. Even I know that (even though I am not a "dog person").

Whether you are a "dog person," or not, let's all try to remember!
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