They’re everywhere. Walk out on the street, and you see them. Go to a park, they’re all over the place. In stores, in cars and on airplanes. People don’t like to leave home without them.
You watch TV and they’re in one commercial after another. Many a film has been made about them. Watch a movie about history, and they’re always in the background, whether it was the 20th century or the 15th century. Heck, even in biblical times.
What is it about dogs that has captured the hearts of so many millions of people all around the world – for thousands of years? Why would so many people sooner give up some of their valuable possessions than live life without a dog? If you’re a dog person, check out the 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose – it captures the essence of the relationship between man and beast.
As a hopeless dog lover myself, the reason for their appeal is both singular and plural. The singular answer is that, no matter how bad a day you’ve had, or what kind of trouble you may be in, or how hopeless your situation might be, just looking at your dog makes you instantly feel better. It’s like clockwork. It never fails. The plural reasons are their innocence, their love, their devotion, their undying loyalty – and of course, the fact they’re so ridiculously adorable.
Pathetic as it may seem, I could actually just hang out and watch my dog all day long – whether he’s playing, walking, sleeping, eating, rolling over, begging, or posing for effect (usually pure emotional blackmail). Of course, for those of us who look upon a dog in part for the spoiling opportunity we were never afforded with our children, it often seems they become the master, we the servant!
Nevertheless, a dog’s whole world revolves around his master. These animals offer true unconditional love, the kind rarely found in humans. No offense intended to you cat lovers, but when I come home, my dog acts like he won the lottery, like all is now right with the world, while most cats dish out some form of punishment (usually hiding) because you had the unmitigated gall to leave him alone.
This is why it’s said that dogs see themselves as inferior to humans, while cats think they’re superior. (Pigs, by the way, are said to see themselves as equal to humans).
This all crystallized when I happened upon a movie entitled “Cats and Dogs,” in which dogs band together to thwart a plot by cats to make all of humanity allergic to dogs. Perhaps that speaks to the character of felines. Perhaps it speaks to the street smarts of canines. Or perhaps it represents the only way cats could threaten the unbreakable, centuries-long bond between man and dog.
Dog lovers know better than to ever, ever visit the pound and see those sad eyes of unclaimed canines staring up at them. Turning away from them is excruciating, and a source of guilt no matter how untenable it might be to own the ten or twelve dogs you’d like to take home with you. Those familiar ads for the ASPCA are absolute killers. Makes us dog-lovers tear up every time.
Of course, dogs can also make themselves useful, as they did long before they were domesticated. This may ultimately account for their longevity alongside the human species.. Their protective instincts are legend. With noses literally a thousand times more sensitive than those of humans, they can sniff out everything from predators to drugs to bombs. And they are downright therapeutic – providing invaluable companionship and enriching the lives of people of all races, creeds and colors – not to mention victims of everything from epilepsy to battle wounds. Check out Warrior Canine Connection to see how significant dogs can be in the healing process of wounded warriors.
In the end, we should in fact feel sorry for those who do not appreciate the canine species, for dogs are one of God’s true miracles.