Getting a Chihuahua has made me think of feminist philosophy. OK, everything makes me think of feminist philosophy. But Ginger makes me think of what it means to be strong, and how we share power.
Some would call Ginger my companion animal. I wouldn’t. (I planned to quote a sociology text on “pet or slave,” but when I searched the Internet for the citation, holy FSM, all I found were BDSM sites.) Anyway, we are companions, but I clearly have dominion over her. (Well, most of the time. Damn, did she just poop on the carpet?)
If she had her way, I would share all my meals with her. I would never leave her alone. I would never clean her ears. I would never take her to the vet. She would never perch on the back of my chair, as she is in this photo.
I’ve had her for seven weeks, and she rarely cowers like she did at first. She’d shiver, tuck her tail between her legs, pull back her ears and look at me as if to say, “I have no idea what I’ve done, but please, oh, great hulking creature, do not kill me.”
I wished she were more independent and self-respecting, like my sister’s St. Bernard, Chloe, shown here on a bed. Although Chloe defers to my sister, she considers herself next in the pack. To remind me of my place, she occasionally knocked me down and humped me when we all lived together.
But Chloe has 120 pounds on Ginger. As a small creature, Ginger has learned other ways to survive. She reminds me that strength takes many forms.