Why Dogs Rule Earth

dogs-with-tennis-ballsThose who know me know I’m a dog person.  In my opinion there are two types of people: dog people and non-dog people.  Those of us who are dog lovers are an inner circle, a special breed, if you will.  We are the people who know and understand the special things dogs add to our lives.  They are little things, big things, and important things.  They are tangibles and intangibles and they are all positive elements that enhance our days.

When you’re not looking for a friend he comes to you, wagging his tail, giving you kisses, and you realize you’re glad he found you.  A dog is always anxiously waiting for you at the door when you come home and their boisterous greeting says your homecoming makes them happy and complete.  And it makes you feel good to be home.  You feel an instant sense of being needed and more importantly, you are told in no uncertain terms you are loved.  The unconditional love given by a dog is something that comes naturally to them unlike the way humans have to learn it through familiarity.

Some say all dogs have an unwaning desire to please their master.  I believe this to be only half-true.  It is that desire combined with a human’s natural response to a dog that forges a relationship of equal giving and gratification without pretense.  I have often said I like dogs more than people and the reason is simple; dogs don’t deceive, lie, cheat, or purposely harm.  It is because of the purity in a dog’s nature that I love them so much.  I’m not sure if I believe in a heaven or a hell for human souls.  But I do believe all dogs go to a heaven and it’s a special place with wide open, grassy fields, cool rivers and lakes and a tennis ball launcher that lofts those furry dog magnets into the air for endless retrieval.  And of course, there are porches, shaded or sunny, where each dog can snooze for endless days at a time.

god-on-dogs

Dogs are a reflection of their owner and yes, there are some people who just shouldn’t own dogs.  There is a common misconception that certain breeds are bad or dangerous.  Stories about dogs attacking people are everywhere and sooner or later many people form negative opinions about those breeds that tend to be involved in aggressive behaviors.  Each dog breed has been created to serve a specific purpose, whether guarding land, hunting, working or even just to sit pretty on one’s lap.  These characteristics have been bred into dogs for hundreds of years and all it takes is one dumb human with one dog to screw things up.

Dogs are highly trainable animals.  They do what they are trained to do.  If a human trains his dog to be aggressive, it will be aggressive.  If a dog is trained to be happy and comfortable around other humans and dogs, it will be.  There are too many cases where dogs have attacked and the dog is declared responsible for its actions.  But in so many cases, the dog was trained to behave the way it did.  It is well passed time for a dog’s owner to be held responsible for the actions of their dog.  Responsible ownership is the key to having a well-adjusted dog.

Our Home SkilletCase in point, there is a general prejudice against several bully breeds including Pit Bulls.  My wife and I owned a Pit Bull named Skillet.  She was the sweetest dog in every sense because she was raised to be that way.  One thing I especially enjoyed about her was when someone met her for the first time.  Skillet didn’t look like a typical Pit Bull because she had her ears and tail cropped and she was a little on the small side.  So, many people didn’t recognize her as a Pit at first sight.  When she would introduce herself to people, most were surprised to learn she was a Pit Bull because of how affectionate and gentle she was.  She instantly changed people’s perception of the breed and that’s what I was proudest about.  She lived with us for sixteen wonderful years until old age took her from us.  I still miss her to this day.

Cheli, The Winged WarriorUnfortunately dogs cannot speak for themselves and too many of them are pushed off into shelters for any number of reasons.  We rescued Cheli, the dog we have now, when he was two years old.  He is seven now, and he has earned the title of the best dog I have ever owned.  To me there is something indescribably special about this 157-pound lug o’ fun.  He is smart, affectionate, goofy, attentive and remarkably agile for a dog of his size and build.  Oh sure, after he drinks he sprays water and drool all over the walls and sometimes even the ceiling, but things like that don’t bother a dog lover.  He makes us laugh every day and each day we’re thankful for him and we recognize the color and importance he adds to our lives.

Dogs have been recognized for their inarguable effect on the human psyche.  Service dogs visit hospitals where they provide a measurable, positive impact on patients.  They offer proven help to patients suffering from depression and other challenges.  It is the unique bond that occurs between humans and dogs that make canines a real part of our lives no matter which part you need them for.  They don’t care, they just want to be a part of it, whether that part is big or small.

As Rudyard Kipling wrote in his famous poem The Power of the Dog, we humans continuously open ourselves up for the inevitable heartbreak that every dog will bring to its owner.  I have witnessed human and canine death and honestly, I don’t know which is harder to endure.  Both bring a sadness so heavy and both leave gaping holes.  But I guess the better of the two is when your dog passes on to those fields of green, those refreshing rivers and lakes, and takes long naps after chasing tennis balls all day.  That’s because there is another of man’s best friends waiting for you, ready to fill your holes, to love you unconditionally and add a fullness to your life that only they can give.

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2 Comments

  1. minkmush

     /  February 17, 2013

    Dogs DO rule the earth! I’ve always been a dog person and can’t picture life without one.

    I’ve read several inspiring stories about service dogs. I remember a time when service dogs were used primarily for the blind. Now they help all kinds of people with all different needs which is fantastic. It’s no surprise to me that a dog can provide help to those suffering from depression, anxiety, or to our brave servicemen and women suffering from PTSD (just to name a few). The unconditional love, support and companionship of a dog is something you can’t get from a pill, or even a human.

    The love and joy you get from your dog is SO worth the heartbreak you will almost certainly face at some point. Some who have lost a dog don’t think they can endure that pain again. But, think of it this way….do you avoid connecting and caring for humans just because they will die one day?

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