I’m acquainted with a Golden Retriever named Mozart.  People might say he possesses two natures, like the original Mozart, both scatological and divine.  But it’s more accurate to say he just does better than most of us in integrating the dualities common to all of us.

As a dog, it’s not always easy holding onto one’s dignity.  Mozart, however, can do this.  Animal Planet can interest him for long periods, but if just people dominate the screen, he turns away.  For him, “Just Say No” actually works.  If it is particularly cold, hot, or stormy outside, he does his business in record time and refuses to subject himself to the elements longer than necessary.

Mozart’s discernment is most obvious in his choice of a mistress; he couldn’t have done better.  Nor does he waste his time on humans that are shallow, caustic, or duplicitous. He simply ignores people like that.

Mozart insists on carrying his mistress’s umbrella. He’s quite firm on this. He is also rather proud of this accomplishment, and makes sure any passerby has the chance to admire him.  While expertly and gently holding the umbrella between his teeth, if anyone approaches he will sidle towards them, wiggle his butt, or smile until they have a chance to appreciate what he can do.

Even more noteworthy, however, is that his show-off self is unspoiled by arrogance, narcissism, or vanity.  Mozart’s invitation to celebrate his talent is not a statement to any other dog, or human, that he considers himself superior.  Just imagine if there were more people like that!  People who could strive for excellence in some endeavor, but not use it as a way to compete with anyone else. To just simply delight in sharing.

With or without any particular talent, belittling others has become the norm in this country.  Would that we all would carry our umbrellas the way Mozart does.