As I was reading about dogs on the internet, as one does, I learned that dogs are gold miners, profit-seekers extracting mineral value from a land which has been dispossessed from the native peoples who once lived there, and that in order to advance themselves in a capitalist society—at the expense of their fellows—dogs seek to extract land from nature and the commons, enclosing it, and thereby maximizing their ability to extract value from the land which they can thereby be said to “own.”
You have to read between the lines a little, of course, but I’m a good reader. The phrase “Much like the miners during the Gold Rush” would seem to indicate that we are dealing with “analogy,” one of the tricksy ways that rhetoricians hedge their statements so as to better confuse and deceive. But I trust that the internet only seeks to help us better understand our canine friends, and so I choose to believe that the dogs really are “much” like miners during the gold rush of the 19th century.
The world is a complicated place, so we must put our faith in those we can rely upon.
I have read Jack London, for example, and in books like The Call of the Wild and White Fang, we can see very authoritative portraits of dogs who took part in the gold rush in the Yukon. The sled-dogs Buck and White Fang struggling for dominance and fight to the death to defeat the competition and to master nature (in service of their nature!). Surely these noble savage beasts are the best analogy for Pepita and Pequod, our small bichon frise mongrels?
Here are Pepita and Pequod:
Let me shed my faux credulity: it’s really strange that people talk about dogs as if they’re resentful suburban sociopaths, defending their fences and yards and territory against all comers. “Like miners during the Gold Rush,” really? I’m no expert, but that’s not how our dogs act at all. It’s true that they bark at people outside, and they’re desperately concerned when a stranger suddenly opens up the front door—or even worse, when the mail carrier drops something into our house—but I’ve made a fairly extended study of how and where and when our dogs pee on things, and the answer is: they pee on things wherever they go, all the time, as much as they can, EXCEPT for when they are in the territory they actually defend.
They don’t like to pee in the house; they would prefer to pee outside of their territory. And honestly, that makes a lot of very basic, simple sense. As the ancient dog proverb goes, “Don’t poo or pee where you eat, sleep, and play.”
Instead, it’s obvious: dogs peeing is social media.
They are writing up little blogposts in the yard, tweeting their thoughts on trees, lazily vague-booking on lamp-posts, and then copiously commenting on everybody else’s posts. Shady subtweets and savage burns out in the open; the discourse is everywhere! But the last thing they want is for other dogs to stay away; they are desperate for company and conversation. And so, they urgently check their mentions on every walk, looking for likes and comments; they consider where the argument has gone, and how it has developed since Muggsy and Tipple started it out the other day. They link to each other’s work; they try to keep up with the trending topics, and when something really exciting is happening—like when the UPS truck has been by—they particularly want to check the pulse of the neighborhood.
This is why dogs are so careful about smelling all the nethers of other dogs that they meet: they are looking up profiles, and adding names to their address book. They want to keep tabs! They want to know who it was that wrote that fire thread on the hedges in front of the house, who that was down by the tennis courts that’s been eating a lot of meat, and who it was whose commentary on the Honda Civic by the Italian restaurant was so pungent and on point.
Most of all, they are proud of their work. The labors of their body, the nice food they have been eating and the work they have done to process it, they would love for everyone to see how well they’ve been doing, and to admire them; look upon my works, ye neighborhood dogs, and admire how nice it is! And without a chorus of peers and fellow citizens, how can their accomplishments have value? What is value without a society in which to share and enjoy it? What purpose creativity, if not for the world to see and smell and enjoy your work?
This is why dogs are in such a hurry, such a rush to go for a walk. Good fences make good neighbors if we pee on them together.
Popula is 100% ad-free, reader-supported journalism accountable only to you. Every dollar of your subscription goes straight to our work. Thank you for supporting Popula.
Hmm, looks like you don’t have MetaMask activated!
If you know what MetaMask is and have it installed, activate MetaMask and refresh:
If that doesn’t make sense to you, click here:
The MetaMask window should have popped up and asked if you want Popula to have access to your MetaMask. Click the ‘CONFIRM’ button.
Don’t see the MetaMask window? Click here to request it again:
You have an old version of the MetaMask extension installed. Before we can continue, you must install the latest version.
- Uninstall (don’t just disable) the existing extension from your browser.
- Restart your browser.
- Go to metamask.io and re-install the extension.
- Come back here and try again!
We know this step is inconvenient, but it’s necessary to make sure this all goes smoothly!
Your MetaMask extension is running, but for privacy purposes you have to allow us to connect to your MetaMask wallet.
You need to connect to the Main Net before you can actually tip. Click on your MetaMask icon so the window pops up, then select ‘Main Ethereum Network’ from the dropdown.
How much do you want to tip?
You can adjust either amount to see how much ETH or USD you’ll be sending.
You can adjust the tip amount in the MetaMask popup window before confirming the transaction.
Popula’s authors contribute 5% of their tips to Popula to help with the overhead of running the tipping system.
Author participation in the Popula tipping system is optional; if an author declines to participate in the tipping system, your tip will be refunded to you in full within 60 days.
Your MetaMask window has popped up now, and you need to confirm the transaction.
Hit that ‘CONFIRM’ button to make it happen!
Did you reject the transaction by accident? Want to adjust your tip amount? Click here:
Maybe you’re not quite comfortable with this yet?
That transaction didn’t go through for some reason.
Try clicking on the MetaMask button in your browser bar (looks like this: ) and see if you have any transactions listed at the bottom of the popup. If you don’t see the tip you just tried to leave, then try again:
Or just want to ask us about it? We’ look into it personally for you.
Thank you so much for your tip, and for your direct support of journalism. The author will appreciate it a lot, and so do all of us at Popula.
Want a receipt?
To see your transaction logged in MetaMask, click the MetaMask button in your browser toolbar—this one: —and your transaction will be listed in the popup.
You can also track the transaction on the Etherscan website. It usually takes under a minute to process, and you’ll get a notification from MetaMask when it’s done.Track on Etherscan
If you have any questions at all, please let us know!
All set?Home to Popula, please!
We know this cryptocurrency stuff is new and weird. We’re here to help you understand. Ask us firstname.lastname@example.org
ETH is Ether, a popular cryptocurrency generated on the Ethereum blockchain.
You’ll need some Ethereum cryptocurrency (ETH) in a MetaMask wallet in order to tip an author. Currently it’s not possible to tip in other cryptocurrencies, or in dollars or other fiat currencies.
For a comprehensive FAQ to help get you started, please visit our help page, “How to Tip Your Favorite Authors with Cryptocurrency on Popula!”
If you have any questions at all, please let us know!