This Blog is Going to The Dogs

I was at the gym today, being shoulders day I wasn’t in the best mood. The owner of the gym had one of his dogs there. No matter how bad of a mood I am in, a dog brings a smile to my face.

I am not sure why I like them so much, I just do. Almost all my life I had 2 dogs though. I am sure that has something to do with it. I am completely comfortable around them; even ones that owners say are mean or aggressive. For the most part, the “aggressive” dogs I have been around are only aggressive if you try to force yourself on them. Many times I have just been patient with a “mean” dog, by sitting down and minding my own business, only to have it eventually come over for a scratch or two.

Now I am certainly not suggesting people try to pet strange or mean dogs. That can be dangerous, even though I am known to do it. I think I have a good enough knowledge of dogs to know how it is going to react to me. If I see a dog tied up outside of a store, I feel I can approach them if their body language and eyes say so. I have never had a problem yet. Maybe I am just lucky.

I remember when the whole Michael Vick and the dog-fighting thing went down. Most of the people I knew were really disgusted. Some people, who were disgusted, brought up a good point though. We seem to put dogs on a pedestal when it comes to animals. The idea of eating a dog (in this culture anyways) is disgusting for the most part. A lot of us eat other animals daily though. I hear the logic in this argument and agree to an extent. I guess my rebuttal to that type of argument is that dogs have earned their space on the pedestal.

I am not trying to offend cat owners. I also know that North America owes a great debt to horses, but I truly believe dogs have earned their reputation. When I say “earned”, I use that title loosely because a lot of things dogs do they were bred and/or trained to do by humans. Regardless though, has any animal developed a bond with humans like dogs have?
Throughout history dogs have been human’s companion. Almost every culture has a dog of its own. A province in Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador) has 2.

Dogs are used to protect herds, protect us, catch criminals, find survivors, find drugs, lead the blind, protect our property and etc. Let’s not forget about good old fashioned companionship. Maybe while not as proactive as other help dogs offer, companionship shouldn’t be scoffed at. Some seniors have dogs that count as their only companion. Dogs are routinely used in nursing homes and rehabilitation centres and many residents look forward to their arrival. I can’t pull up any numbers now but I am pretty sure there are studies that show having a dog around can actually have some health benefits.

I have nothing but respect for people who champion any and all animals. I definitely can respect that. In my perspective though, dogs have earned their spot on that pedestal.

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