Dogs were made to serve mankind. They comfort us and protect us with loyalty unmatched in the animal kingdom.
DOGS ARE DIFFERENT
A CONVERSATION WITH READERS
and Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Dog Breeder, Cat Fancier, Horsewoman
It is how they are different that makes the dog man's best friend, co-worker, and symbol of unwavering loyalty. Here's my take but tell us (below) what makes YOUR dog different.
Tell us about your dog below or on facebook but first, let’s understand that people who cater to the whims and weirdness of a cat are not “owners.” They are indulgent caregivers, willing servants, but owners? Never! Even the court system recognizes the difference. TV Judge Wapner holds dog owners responsible for anything a dog does but cats have legal impunity.
Let's start with cats. I am a cat lover who once owned an African lioness and who exhibited Bengals before they were TICA registered but I ask you, do cats ever do what you want them to do when you want them to do it? No. Even with those highly trained TV cats that seem to come running for food, several takes are necessary because, well you know, cats are cats. I’ll bet trainers for cat food commercial put a piece of raw chicken liver in the bottom of the cat food bowl … cats are never quite domesticated. On the occasion that a cat takes time from its busy day to rub its scent glands across your face, cat lovers feel adored. And that “making bread” thing cats do which so delights a human? Get real. They just as happily knead a roll of toilet paper!
A dog will follow you because you’re the pack leader and he respects and loves you. A cat will follow you out of curiosity, nothing more, nothing less. Ditto for your horse. He follows the oats.
All you horse lovers, smile, we're on the same page. We showed a little at halter but mostly I did the games. Barrel Racing, Keyhole, Polebending – the stuff where the only judge was a stop watch. I loved my horses. Fed them, polished them, learned to trim hooves. I was so into horses I became proficient at buying auction “snakes” and developing them into saleable pleasure horses.
But did I ever have one that would come when called unless I was holding the feed bucket? No. In training "soured" horses I realized there was no comparison in the devotion factor. All those Walter Farley books were in fact works of fiction. Shucks, I have a friend that trained a Brahma bull to be ridden under saddle. That doesn't mean he liked her. And like cats, horses don't protect you. They say donkeys protect flocks or herds or some such nonsense. No way. It's just that Jackasses go after anything they don’t know personally, including unfamiliar humans.
Horses and mules settled the west and won WWI for us but not one went to war without a bit in its mouth. Sure, horses pulled cannon and carried the Calvary and all that but they don't do it because they love us. Dogs can carry and pull loads, and in some cultures they are still eaten but the difference is that dogs have comforted mankind both physically and psychologically.
Here's the real test. Think about going out and your dog is looking for his leash but is your horse thrilled when you hook to the trailer or is he gone? Is your cat concerned when you are sick or is he meowing at the empty food bowl? OK, that pretty much settles that.
Well, wait, there is one more difference between dogs and any other domestic animal. Beasts of burden have always gone to war with mankind. The difference is in the dog's willingness to accompany human friends. That is what we are to dogs. We're friends.
Of course we care about our other animals but let's face it, they are incapable of loving us the way dogs do. Only dogs want to be with us. No other animal really prefers the company of man. Think about that because it is mind-blowing significant.
The incredible emotional bond between man and dog is poignantly portrayed in this photo.
No earthly creature, not even your parents or your spouse, is as unselfishly devoted to you as is your dog. It is in his DNA to love you. And puleeeze, don’t tell me how we devolved them into children and that’s why they are so dependent on humans. Who scripted those Animal Planet shows???
So, whatever your faith or beliefs, I think you'll agree, its as though the Creator knew that we were going to need one friend we could always count on and so He made a dog.
What do you believe? What makes your dog special? Do you have a hero dog? Service dog? Does your dog communicate on a level beyond human speech? Does your dog know when you are coming home? Has your dog saved your family or protected your home? You told us why your dog is different!
Thank you for your submissions but this comment session has been closed. Here is a sampling of article comments.
Donna Favor : I found this by accident. Nice take, good information to make people appreciate each species but why don't you guys put this on facebook?
Marvin Stevens : Just got back from 2nd tour and a buddy sent me this page. The photograph is for real. Those dogs save a lot of lives. My wife got rid of my dog while I was gone but I am looking for another dog. The wife I can live without! Nice site, good reading, carry on folks.
Charlene Dunlap : When I was a small child living on a ranch in southern Arizona, our family had a German Shepherd Dog named Butch who saved my life (or saved me from serious harm) on three separate occasions. I was walking in the orchard along a grass-lined path when Butch jumped against my chest knocking me to the ground. Not five feet ahead on the path was a coiled rattlesnake. Butch jumped in biting the back of its head and flinging it to the side. On another occasion, I was walking in a cattle pasture when a bull charged. I could feel its breath on my back as I frantically ran towards the fence some 30 feet distance. Butch run in and grabbed the bull by the nose pulling its head aside until I could dart under the fence. The last occasion was in the winter and I was walking on ice covering a frozen pond. Butch kept barking and circling, pushing me back toward the shore. Just as my mother ran out and pulled me to safety, Butch fell through the ice. (He made it out okay.) I have not since had another occasion where a dog might save me but I will forever remember and be grateful to that one amazing German Shepherd.
Denise : My dog is exceptional! People may think dogs don't reason but they do. My husband told me he was walking with the dog through the woods one day and was amazed when he observed him up ahead, sit and look around as if contemplating how he was going to get around where a tree had fallen in the path. Our dog proceeded to grab at a large branch with his mouth and move it from the path so he could saunter through. Now if that's not thought provoking, I don't know what is. Some people may not have thought to move the branch but to try and go around or climb over, but not the dog :)
Delilah : I have always said a dog is a special and unique creation. Dogs vs Cats -well I'm a cat person (my behavior is leave me alone too, unless I ask for something) Anyway... something I have found remarkable about a dog is no matter how badly they are treated, they will still love you, you can put several of them together and they get along (not counting boys when girls are in season!) but a cat... once a cat hates another cat they seem to hold that grudge forever but NOT a dog. I love my dog and am glad she's on the porch to alarm me to any smell she smells, assumes that no matter the reason you are on the porch, you are there to visit her and know they are smarter than most give them credit for.
Stella Starr : I enjoyed this and understand that this is a dog site but cats are different too <smile>
Andy Waller : Did a quick read before work but I will be thinking about this today. I don't show and don't know how this got in my email but had to laugh when I finished reading. Not selling anything? Just a little brain food? You guys win, I gave my dog half of my egg biscuit this morning.
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