Volumes have been written about how and why dogs became “man’s best friend”, and dogs are simply one of the wonders–and one of the best–we can choose to share this journey we call “life”.
Many people choose not to have dogs, and I respect that, unless the reason is one of the following: it might chew up the couch cushions, it might barf on the carpet, and it doesn’t match your jewelry. There are other good reasons for not having a dog, such as not being able to afford it and take care of it like it needs you to do. If that isn’t a factor, then here’s a good reason not to get a dog: you will outlast it.
I think it may be my sister who sent me a quote that says, the only thing wrong with dogs is they don’t live as long as you do. Barring fatal accidents and heart attacks and such on your part, that is absolutely the case. From the time you get that cute little wriggly puppy, it’s on a date with Destiny–as are you, but it will get there first. The question is, can you bear that? If the answer is no, I can understand. But you will deprive yourself of its company, and the joy it brings you. It’s a trade-off that you have to weigh.
I have very mixed feelings about dog breeders (the reputable ones, the puppy mill people should be nuked) and dog shows…but I always watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show every February. I’m okay with the breeds being kept alive, because in reality, here’s what we’re seeing: dogs are no longer useful for the most part. Dogs long ago began going the way of newspapers and bank tellers.
Dogs became our best friends because they helped us to survive by hunting, herding, transporting, guarding, and killing vermin, but with the possible exception of hunting and herding, we don’t need dogs for that any more. However, way before that, our relationship with dogs began to change. At Westminster, dogs are judged by standards that include whether or not they could still do their “jobs”, those they were bred for, even if they’re no longer required to do it. But I think that dogs’ “jobs” changed long ago. The first time someone curled up with a Husky to keep warm on a frigid night. Now they are our companions, with no bigger job than that.
This morning, my sister and her husband lost their 11-year old Scottish Terrier Bonny. More accurately, they elected let her go humanely. Bonny had been having seizures for some time, and this morning she began seizuring to the extent that it appeared they could not fully stop them.
The best thing I remember about Bonny was that she and her compadre, their other Scottie Maggie, played Rabbit in the backyard with my dog Pippin (aka, the Beast). Playing Rabbit requires that first you be the Hound and chase the Rabbit, then you reverse and become the Rabbit while the Hound chases you. Bonny was the only dog Pippin has ever played with who got it. Of course her main job was being a pal to her people, and she did that with all her heart.
Today they buried her in the back yard where she was such a good Hound and Rabbit. The context doesn’t really work but these words do: Well done, Thou good and faithful servant.