the value of dogs
All animals are magic and clearly supernatural in origin. But dogs, and probably monkeys and dolphins, are extra special. As it’s undoubtedly cruel to keep monkeys and dolphins in human households, we should really satisfy ourselves with the companionship afforded us by dogs. I would like to suggest that everyone should make room in their lives for a four-legged friend, for a number of very important reasons. Before I get into the reasons, there are some rules.
Do not try to dominate or aggressively control your dog. Dogs are animals just like humans and, like us, respond best to positive reinforcement of convenient behaviour. Don’t be fooled by badly researched dog psychology manuals and attitudes from the Victorian times that still linger today on popular TV programmes. Treat your dog like any other member of the family, always with respect and love. Dogs are not stupid or inferior, they just have a different approach to life that seems less developed than ours (but probably isn’t).
Now that we’ve established some ground rules, let’s move on to the reasons why co-habiting with dogs (or having dog tenants/adoptees, if you prefer) is advisable.
Physical health is key for a productive life and positive outlook. If you have a dog, you need to go out for a walk at least twice a day. And preferably a long walk. Your dog will give you an excuse to find beautiful wooded walks and breathe in fresh air on a regular basis.
Emotional health is key for a productive life and positive outlook. If you have a dog, you will be receiving and giving unconditional love on a daily basis – love that isn’t clouded by verbal misunderstandings, disappointments and paranoia. Doggy love is strong, consistent and baggage-free.
Distraction is key for a productive life and positive outlook. Humans are evolutionarily primed to expect to be struggling for survival in family units, and we thrive in the bustle of constant contact and activity. However, our society has developed to make less demanding and less social living a somewhat appealing option that often leaves vast swathes of time for over-contemplation and reflection. If you have a dog, you will be provided with very useful therapeutic distraction, making ever decreasing thinking circles vanish in a mist of real friendship and contentment.
Understanding our place on this planet is key for a productive life and positive outlook. Humans are just one other kind of animal kicking about on this planet. Unfortunately, being in the most powerful position, some humans have chosen to take advantage of this strength by bullying and mistreating our fellow Earth inhabitants. If you have a dog that you learn to relate to with due love and respect, you will undoubtedly realise with a big dose of humility that humans aren’t a supernaturally separate species created in the image of a divine deity, but merely just another type of animal.
A happy home is key for a productive life and positive outlook. If you have a dog, there will be a fellow animal residing in your home who is overwhelmed with delight by your presence, and will greet you with reliable and infectious enthusiasm. Your dog will undoubtedly want to play and have fun, bringing the fabled carefree enjoyment of youth with every wag of its happy tail.
This post is dedicated to my best doggy buddies, Coca, Yophie and Skerry, whose infectious doggy smiles and faithful friendships will always remain.