Thinking about dogs, comments

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 10, 2015

When I leave the house, my dog, Little Girl, sensing what I am about to do, pouts. She gives me a stony stare when I tell her I will return soon. She rejects the kiss I toss her. When I return, she meets me as my key turns in the lock, bounces up and down, dances little jigs, wags her fluffy tail, and plants kisses on my face. She is so happy to see me that she forgets she was disturbed an hour or so before. I say that is definitely unconditional love.

She reminds me of something I read titled, “Things We Can Learn from a Dog.” Number three on the list was, “When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.”

Perhaps you are familiar with some of the works of James Thuber (1894-1961), an American cartoonist, author, journalist, playwright, and humorist. He left us several thoughts about dogs including “If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” Another was, “The dog has got more fun out of Man than Man has got out of the dog, for the clearly demonstrable reason that Man is the more laughable of the two animals.” He also wrote, “The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his.”

I like these quotes from a couple of unknowns: “Some days you are the dog; some days you are the hydrant,” and “In dog years I’m dead.”

Radio and television writer Andrew Rooney (1919-2011), said, “The average dog is nicer than the average person.”

Dave Barry thinks dogs feel very strongly that they should always accompany us in our cars in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing, right in our ears.

Little Girl is a good traveler. She contentedly snuggles up to me when I am in the driver’s seat of the car. So far, no barking.

I wonder what kind of inquiry Ann Landers had when she passed on this advice: “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” Environmentalist Edward Paul Abbey (1927-1989), an American author and essayist, had a different concept of the dog and man relationship: “When a man’s best friend is a dog, that dog has a problem,” he said.

Every morning after breakfast when I have my morning devotionals, Little Girl appears and searches the floor for crumbs. One morning I took her in my lap as I read the day’s Scriptures aloud. It is now a morning ritual, inspired by Barnabas, the big, gangly dog adopted by Father Tim, the rector, in The Mitford Novels Series. According to the rector, Barnabas was controlled by Scriptures.

Author Christopher Morley’s quotation perhaps explains my thoughts well: “No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.”