I am by all accounts an avid dog lover. I’ve written about dogs, slept with dogs, confessed my soul to dogs, and sworn allegiance to my dog. I’ve read heartwarming stories about faithful dogs rescuing their masters. I’ve nodded in hearty agreement when someone says if only people could be like dogs, you know, loyal no matter what, understanding, faithful through thick and thin. Why oh why can’t people be trusted like the faithful dog? Why can a person love you one day, swear to live with you forever and three months later take your car, your house, and yes your dog; all the while pronouncing deep seated hatred from here to eternity? Everyone knows a dog would never do such a thing.
Well, without sounding like a traitor to my most trusted friend, I think I know why a dog remains forever loyal while poor old humans betray each other on a daily basis. First of all, a dog gets every damn thing in the world he wants from his trusted companion every single day. A dog never experiences ‘I have a headache’ days. Let’s take food for instance. A dog is fed every day by his master. Master prepares it, serves it, and then gives him some of his own food.
Imagine if I were treated this way by my human companions. I enter a restaurant to see my friends John and Sally eating a fine meal. “Hey John, how are you,” T. said. “Fine T, how are you,” replies John. John whispers to Sally, “Give T. a slice of your filet and let him have a sip of your wine too. Aw, isn’t he sweet, give him a couple of yeast rolls too.” Sally says, “Now T. come on over to ‘ole Sal, Sal, so I can scratch your belly. That’s a boy, give Sal, Sal, a kissy too.”
John, following the time honored doggy protocol, blinks not an eye and gives me a pat on the head as well.
What about sleeping arrangements? I have almost had to have my arm amputated because I did not want to move and awaken my rat terrier lying fast asleep beside said dead, blood starved arm. I’ve slept all night on one uncomfortable side rather than move the dog six inches and interrupt his blissful sleep since God knows he only gets, at most, 22 hours of sleep a day. I’ve awakened at 3 A.M. to let him out so he could bark at the neighbor’s dog, who the neighbor just let out to bark at my dog. My wife has done much the same for the dog.
If I wake my wife up at 3 A.M. the house better damn well be on fire. I don’t know if she would let me out of the house at 3 A.M. but I can state from experience she will not let me in the house at 3 A.M.
Now back to the belly rub. I can confidently count on my fingers the number of people willing to give me a belly rub, none. I could go to every nightclub in Georgia and buy every girl there double shots of Tequila and not a one would agree to give me a belly rub. But man’s best friend, oh my, his master rubs his belly, his master’s mate rubs his belly, visiting friends rub his belly, the UPS guy rubs his belly, for crying out loud total strangers rub his belly.
So, you want 100 percent loyalty rub my belly. I knew you didn’t want it that bad.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.