This picture just warms my heart.
Why would you get a dog as a life companion when you already have a house full of human companions? Why would you voluntarily bring another living creature into your life that needs feeding, bathing, walking, etc. (I am not even talking about housebreaking)? First and foremost, dogs don’t talk; and second, they follow directions. They actually do what they are told without voicing their opinions, or postponing it to later. Their sole purpose is to be present. By just doing that they provide unconditional acceptance and love, fill you up with tons of warm and cozy energy, lift your mood, and make you a better person overall. They don’t care how much money you make, or if you kill your grandma, dogs will make you feel better anyway, and they will accomplish it without uttering a single word.
Sure, dogs know how to communicate. Their ears and tails speak sometimes louder than words. If I see my dog laying on the rug quietly with her ears and tail down, looking in the opposite direction, pretending she does not see me, I know something is up. She knows that eating sleepers or chewing pillows is wrong; not that it stops her from doing it. Sound of her tail hitting the wall or the staircase indicates that someone she loves is about to open the door. At times I am afraid she would break her tail (if such thing is possible), but she does not seem to be in any pain. Then wagging the tail turns into wagging her whole body, with her little tuchis rotating 360 degrees with an incredible speed, followed by jumping on her object of love until he acknowledges her existence.
Dogs could be quite loud at times, especially when they perceive something as unknown or dangerous. Balloons, for example, put my dog in an instant state of panic, causing her to bark at the top of her lungs for a few minutes, and then, realizing that the balloon is not scared, slowly move backwards while watching the balloon closely to make sure it is not following her. The other day she saw some “weird” people shoveling the snow from my second floor window. They either were making strange noises with the shovels or came too close to my property; in any case it was not right and clearly deserved a bark. But after a few minutes she felt it was not worth the effort, and relaxed on the couch. The danger is also eminent when people talk loudly, smoke, or otherwise do not exhibit good manners. I can’t blame her; that’s her noble upbringing speaking. She makes an exception for my screaming, establishing early on that any involvement is useless; plus you never argue with the boss.
Dogs also communicate with their actions. I remember when we were potty training my dog, she did not want to pee outside. We held her in the backyard for hours waiting for her to do “the business”. We asked, urged, begged; we offered treats, praises; we tried every recommendation in the book and more. She did not budge. She was like a soldier willing to sacrifice her life (bladder), but not surrender one inch to the enemy. As soon as we gave up and let her in, she sat in the middle of the room, and peed. She took her sweet time; as the puddle expanded, she kept looking straight into my husband’s eyes, silently declaring her small, but important victory. He said the dog was as stubborn as I was. I considered it a compliment. She had character; I liked it.
If dogs could talk it would change everything. The animal adoptions would drastically reduce, or stop altogether. I have a theory that people do good things not because they are good, but because of how it makes them feel. Think what you want of me, but I, certainly, don’t need another creature telling me how to live my life.
Talking, as a mechanism of forming words, is not an indication of intelligence, education, or that the person has something to say. It is a guarantee, though, that there will be a noise with the shades of judgment, opinion, attitude, social pressure, and comparison to others. Even things that have not been said; you knew they were there, on the tip of the tongue, trying to escape, but pushed back all the way back to where they were coming from. That is a human nature to compare and to judge. People who love you would try to protect you, make you fit into society. People who hate you would try to make you miserable, and bring you down. No matter what the intentions are the elements of judgment and comparison are still there.
Of course, you can go to the therapist and try to fix the “talking” with more talking; or you can take a pill and pretend that “talking” does not bother you anymore. There are few other well-known ways to escape the reality not appropriate for promotion. The fact of the matter is that sometimes I don’t want any more talking; I just want to stop thinking, relax, and inhale these happy serotonins and endorphins that come out of my warm, furry, four-legged companion. I want them to somehow pass into my blood stream, enter my brain, triggering the chemical reaction of transforming me into a happier person. She brings me comfort. She brings me peace. Her love is pure and unconditional, her acceptance is absolute.
When our dog Maya saw her new rain coat for the first time, she ran away and hid under the dining table. She doesn’t like taking chances with strange objects. With her ears and tail down, no amount of treats would get her out. She did warm up to it eventually – pink was a perfect combination with her velvet black fur. Our little fashionista posing for the pictures.