NORMAN — On April 11, 2011, I had just completed a poem titled: “The First Philosopher,” concerning the life of Thales of Miletus, Greece (born 624 BC, died 546 BC). His main interests were ethics, metaphysics, astronomy and mathematics. Aristotle considered Thales to be the first philosopher in the Greek tradition.
I do not recall the exact time of day that I finished the poem, but I do recall that it was approaching dusk and an intense feeling of enlightenment overwhelmed me, beckoning and saying — “Go to City of Norman’s Animal Shelter, adopt a dog and name him Thales.”
As I went outside at the shelter, where each dog has its own well-kept dog house and room for roaming and playing, most of the dogs were barking. But then quite suddenly, while going past Cage No. 7, to my amazement I felt a lick on my left hand. The little gal had stood on her back lets, not saying a word, and stuck her tongue through the chain link fence, with tail wagging and beautiful brown eyes intensely staring at me. It was love at first sight.
Wow, I wish that you could have been there. I immediately rushed into the shelter’s office, proclaiming No. 7 the one. The staff said that she was available for adoption. Of course, knowing that Thales of Miletus was a man, and No. 7 was a female, Thales and I discussed it briefly and came up with her official name — Thales Athena. What a tremendous idea, she said, and I totally agreed.
Thales Athena is a Lhasa Apso, originally from Tibet and guardian dogs of the Dahlia Lama. It is the country which holds the world’s highest peak, and the summers there are quite different than the long, hot summers of Oklahoma. Quite recently I took Thales for her summer grooming at a new establishment here in Norman named Bark on Main, owned by Erica. She has three daughters, named Macee, Maddie and Mia, and they take after their mom — they love animals.