I love dogs. I think that’s pretty clear. I believe they’re 100-times smarter than anyone knows and I think they’re here solely to make us happy. I’ve had dogs that have meant more to me than any humans ever could. I still can’t speak of my little Scottish Terrier, Delaney, without getting all emotional.
But as hard as it is for me to comprehend, some people don’t like dogs. Other people sort of like dogs but don’t want to get too close. They like them to pet and to look at, but they really don’t want to commit, ya know? Other people hate dogs.
I truly believe that what writer Charles Doran said is true, and it offers a great yardstick for judging human character:
“Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog.”
Amen, brother. Amen.
As for me, I can tell immediately which kind of person you are when my dog Sparky runs up to you:
- Steps back, looks afraid or annoyed = Dislikes dogs = I’ll probably dislike you.
- Reaches down, pats Spark on the head, stands back up = Likes dogs, doesn’t own one, can take them or leave them.
- Immediately gets a huge smile on face, drops to Spark’s level, rubs him behind the ears until Spark rolls over for a belly rub = Loves dogs.
Oh, and there’s one more type:
- Yells, “SPARKY! IT’S SPARKY! LOOK EVERYONE, IT’S SPARKY!”, then drops to the ground, pets Sparky, and asks for a picture = Sparky Groupie. Spark has a lot of fans, you know.
That said, there are certain things people should never say if they want to be my friend. These are what I call the deal breakers. I just can’t help myself. Here they are:
1. “Dogs should not be allowed on the furniture!”
B-W-A-H-A-H-A-H-A! Seriously? Walk away, sista. Not only is Sparky allowed on the furniture, he thinks it’s there for him. And he sleeps with me, on my bed, under the covers. And no worries, Spark is a great wingman. He respects my privacy and will keep his distance if the situation requires it. On a related note, anyone who wants to be a significant part of my life has to get the paws-up from The Spark. Sorry Kate Beckinsale, but if Spark’s not into you neither am I. I can’t believe I just typed that.
2. “There’s no way your dog understands everything you’re saying.”
You, my friend, are an idiot. Not only does my dog know what I’m saying, he knows what I’m going to say before I say it. In fact, most times I don’t even have to say it because he reads my mind. All I have to do is look at Sparky. The Spark knows.
3. “Eww! You shouldn’t let your dog kiss you!”
False. I’ll tell you straight up – my dog kisses me right on the lips. If that grosses you out you need to look elsewhere for a boyfriend. A pooch smooch is alright by me, folks. If you don’t like it, don’t let the doggie door hit you on the way out.
4. “I can’t believe you take that dog everywhere with you!”
Why wouldn’t I? Number one, he insists. Number two, Spark’s my Road Dog. He’s been to the Outer Banks, Oak Island, Washington DC, Gettysburg, and a million other places. He goes everywhere around town with me too, and was even the star of a recent New Year’s Eve party at a local establishment. My buddies are used to getting in my car, only to have Spark leap from the backseat onto their lap for some snuggling. And it’s not unusual for me to be in a supermarket or somewhere and here something like this:
“Hey! Is Spark in the car? I’m going to run out and say hello!”
Seriously, this happens. A lot.
5. “You can come but don’t bring the dog.”
This has been said to me approximately zero times. People know better. Still, I’d never take Sparky to a wedding, simply because he’d divert attention from the bride. Yes, he’s that
notorious popular. Funerals I can’t guarantee. Hell, he might be just what the doctor ordered for the bereaved. Pretty much anything else is wide-open, although if I want to be left alone Sparky’s not the guy to have with me. Spark’s a babe magnet, lemme tell ya. Dude’s got the kind of game you read about.
Need more proof that I love dogs? Nah, didn’t think so. I think writer Konrad Lorenz said it best:
“A true bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this Earth can ever be.”
And that, my friends, is the God’s honest truth.