|Posted on September 11, 2010 at 6:55 PM|
I have written before about what makes dogs so lovable to us humans. But for some reason, I feel like I need to write about it again. So what is it about dogs that keeps us wanting more? Is it because they are just so darn cute? Or possibly because they make even the least confident of us feel important? Maybe it's because no matter what is going on in our lives, they are there for us. They listen to us rant and rave about our day at work. They cuddle up with us and keep us feeling warm and safe. They make us feel like a part of something more in life. Maybe we don't get along with people at work, or with our neighbors, or even our families, but we always get along with our dogs. They keep us laughing when we are depressed, sad, and lonely. They always have our backs, and they will fight to the death to protect us. We have their full attention, unless a squirrel or rabbit happens to run by. They always try to please us, and keep us happy. It is very difficult to find a person like this. Dogs are free, can generally take care of themselves, and have no use for money, laws, or politics. I think we as humans envy that sometimes. Despite those things, they choose to stay with us, obey us, honor us, and protect us.
Dogs are simple creatures, yet their love of us is complex. Dogs have easy rules within their packs. The leader is the strongest and most confident dog. He is not elected to this position, he simply claims it. But he is not a tyrant, socialist, or communist. He simply claims what is rightfully his. The other pack members simply follow his lead, no questions asked. If there is a disagreement, then they fight for it. In the dog world, you have to prove yourself. You have to earn your right to lead. Any dog that is confident enough, skilled enough, and strong enough can lead. It's not like our world. It is totally fair. We have to go to school to learn a trade for many years. Then graduate and start at the bottom of that particular field. Then as life throws crap at us, we have to fight to maintain our positions at work. Sometimes, our economy collapses and we have no choice but to start from scratch. Dogs don't have to deal with any of this, they simply live and adapt to changing times.
I think dogs are magical to us for those reasons, but mostly because of their simplicity. We bred dogs to live in our world so we could teach them to work for us, keep us company, guide us around, and keep us safe. Yet it seems that they are teaching us. Slowly, and steadily, with tons of patience, a new way to look at life. They are teaching us how damaging stress really is, how to have never-ending patience, how to love unconditionally, how to stop and smell the roses (among other things). They also teach us not to take life for granted, to be excited about the little things, and that opening ourselves up to others is not always bad. If you don't take a risk, how will you ever experience new things? How will you learn to trust? How will you meet new loves? How will you ever know if you could have become something more than what you are? A normal, healthy dog does not wait for a safety net to appear before him. He simply leaps and trusts that the net will be there. As should we.
The most magical thing about dogs has to be their resilience. Even if that net doesn't appear and something bad does happen, dogs bounce back. The only reason, in my 20 years experience, that dogs do not get over a negative experience is because people hold on to it for them. People keep the memory, the fear, and the panic with in them. Dogs react to our feelings and emotions. When we learn to let go of it, they let go even faster. In their natural world, they simply learn from a negative experience and move on. How many depressed 3 legged dogs have you seen? How many discouraged blind or deaf dogs do you see? Dogs don't care about their disadvantages, they only care about making you and I happy and exploring their world. They would rather sleep next to you in a dark wet ally than alone in a fancy doggy hotel. They don't care about expensive dog toys, they'd rather play with your old socks. Yet, there are people out there that would abuse them, torture them, fight them, and neglect them.
We bred them to be what they are. We are the ones that decided that Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers should exist. But what do we do with our creations? Some of us abuse and neglect them. Fight them to the death, and make them aggressive to children. We ban them. We bred these traits into them, and we can breed them out just as easily. Bulldogs nearly went extinct and were fierce dogs back in the bull baiting days, but we brought them back and bred it out of them. Boston Terriers were bred to fight to the death for sport, but we bred it out of them and now they are considered "The American Gentleman" of dogs. The point here is that dogs don't choose what they are, where they are, or even who they are. Yet for the most part, they love us for what we are, where we are, and who we are. This in itself, is the magic that dogs share with us every single day.
"Dogs are not merely dogs to some. They are children with fur that just happen to bark, drink from the toilet, and shred our slippers. But they are also teachers of life, purity, and loyalty to many." ~ The Canine Guru
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