Lately, I have been thinking a lot about dogs and people and how they affect each other. Especially the ways both lives are changed when a dog and a person connect. I find myself comparing the two and wondering which one is the one to strive to be like. People or dogs?
It was Blue’s birthday on October 27th. Actually, it is the date we have chosen to celebrate his birthday because it is the day we rescued him from the animal shelter one year ago on that date. So officially he was two years old on that date and it has become the day we chose to celebrate his birthday. Did we celebrate it?
No. Why? Cause we suck. lol
I don’t recall why, actually. I think we were busy on that date. Or realized too late it was his official birthday. Anyway. He’s a good dog. Granted I don’t have much to compare him too. Blue is only the third indoor dog I have ever had and I really didn’t take care of the other two myself. But Blue sticks to me the most because I am around the most and I guess he has taught me some things.
But I have never really been a dog person. I know I can’t stand cats, but I can live without dogs. If I had to give Blue away tomorrow I would be okay with it. I honestly would (maybe). I don’t have that attachment with dogs (or people) that I have with let’s say, chocolate, or Taco Ole. I would cry if I had to give those up. Dogs are just dogs. Or at least they were, once.
Dogs love people unconditionally even if we don’t love them back. You won’t find that
much around the people you know. People, for the most part, have conditions on their love for you. People have motives. Dogs have neither. Unless they are licking your face and hands, which is really just about you not washing up after eating.
Blue, I think, is changing me. He makes me think about animals differently than I used to. I remember a couple of decades ago I was working as a cop and responded to a call of animal abuse. A drunk man was in his backyard drowning his 2 beautiful Doberman pinchers in a small kiddie pool. By the time I got there he was sitting on a fold-out chair by the little pool smoking a cigarette. The dogs were on the grass beside the pool gasping for air. I remember looking at them and not feeling anything. Thinking for a moment that they were his property and he had every right. But I arrested him because I had to and the dogs died before I was finished reading him his rights and placing him in the police car. I wrote the report that night and forgot about the incident moments afterward.
Years later, another call took me to a beat up old ranch looking for a suspect. I was with a partner who noticed the hideous conditions of some horses in a corral. There was even a dead horse in the field among the other horses. My partner was furious. I had to stop him from strangling (just a little bit) the caretaker we spoke too. He arrested the man took custody of the animals. One of the horses had to be euthanized on the spot. My partner handled that case and I went on with the original case I was working. I understood the crime but did not share his enthusiasm for the plight of the animals.
None of that had really changed, until Blue. He has changed my outlook on animals and the people that treat them badly. I get the emotional attachments people get to animals. I understand that dogs are not just property and they deserve much more credit than I ever showed them.
I don’t think I will ever be like my daughters who simply adore everything dog-related. My daughter Lauren cries every single time she saws a dog on the street no matter what condition the dog is in. Dogs should never be homeless, she says. My daughter Grace posts more cute dog videos on her social media than a human being should ever be allowed to post.
I wish I had some of the traits that dogs have. People could learn a lot from dogs (unlike cats which only teach you how to hate cats, lol). We should all express unconditional love, be crazy sociable, pay crazy attention to others, and shake our tails once in a while, lol. The world would be a lot better if we were more like dogs.
I wonder what I would be like if I had taken a call like the one with the Doberman dogs after living life with Blue. I think I know I would remain professional and do my job. I’d do my best to care for the animals and follow through with an arrest. Not much would have changed. Except maybe that split second thought in my head where I picture myself arriving at the scene and 2 seconds later putting two in the chest of the suspect and burying him in his own backyard. Yeah, that thought would have been something new after life with Blue.
So am I Blue? Not even close. Blue is better than I am. He’s got all the good stuff and none of the bad traits that people pick up along the way in their lives. Dogs always make your life better. People, not so much, and not nearly in the beautiful unconditional way that dogs do. Not even close.