We’ve been dogsitting Bear, an aging mauzer, while his parents are out of state, and on our daily walks to water the neighborhood foliage, I’ve come to appreciate again why dogs are so special. Here are just a few of their attributes:
Dogs never judge you. They like you the way you are. If you didn’t comb your hair or brush your teeth, they still nuzzle up close to pant in your face, commiserating with you because they didn’t brush their teeth either.
Dogs never assume anything about you. People might take something I’ve written the wrong way, but dogs don’t really care about my opinions. Newsprint tastes the same, whatever the content.
Dogs are not concerned about your heritage. Sometimes their own heritage is questionable. For starters, their ancestors were wild wolves.
Dogs don’t get hung up on things they can’t or won’t do. If someone says, “That dog won’t hunt,” they know they have other worthwhile virtues and skills.
Dogs are in a good mood most of the time, unless they’re the kind that’s never in a good mood. But the grouches are rare.
Dogs (small ones) love a welcoming lap. They’d offer theirs if they had one.
Dogs will fish or swim with you, even if they don’t know how to do either. If you think all dogs can swim, you never met the late Rufus, a blond cocker spaniel of ours.
Dogs can be afraid—fireworks will usually do it—but they seldom suffer from stress.
Dogs are observant. They know instinctively when a deer has been in the yard. They possess a poop detector more sensitive than an expensive Geiger counter.
Dogs are always glad to see you. If the pet doesn’t notice when you walk into the room, it’s a cat.
Dogs are accepting of all friendly people, even those with quirky personalities. They know that they and their fellow canines are also a little flaky sometimes.
Dogs are forgiving. You can scold them for unbecoming behavior, and a few minutes later they’ve forgotten all about it. They think a grudge is something to eat.
Dogs are perceptive. They know that dog-lovers are really nice people, and they can tell when they’re not welcome.
Dogs will never complain about a squeaky toy or any other gift from you. They even like the box it came in.
Dogs appreciate small favors. Slip them a piece of ham from the dinner table, and their tail, if they have one, says enthusiastically, “Thank you very much.”
Dogs are not prejudiced. They don’t care what color you are, where you grew up, or how much money you have. They relinquish all biases to human beings.
Best of all, dogs are always there for you. They are excellent therapists. You can have the blues; you can be rejected by a friend; you can be feeling ill; you can be grieving a death. But that’s no problem for your furry friend. He or she is always there for you, offering a kiss to make you feel better.