Round of Applause for Our Dogs

The Beacon Bolt is a publication of the student body of Northwest Christian University.

This one’s for the dogs. Dogs and humans have been walking side by side for thousands of years; aiding, nurturing, hunting and living their lives in close proximity to each other. No creature in the animal kingdom is quite like a dog, and no other animal has such an iconic relationship with humans. The companionship between a kid, adult, or elder and their dog is almost magical, yet so common because the bond between mankind and canines is so proven. Yes, it is possible for there to be an incredible bond between humans and other animals, but it never seems to occur at the same frequency as it does between us and dogs. Dogs are special.

This one’s for the dogs. Dogs and humans have been walking side by side for thousands of years; aiding, nurturing, hunting and living their lives in close proximity to each other. No creature in the animal kingdom is quite like a dog, and no other animal has such an iconic relationship with humans. The companionship between a kid, adult, or elder and their dog is almost magical, yet so common because the bond between mankind and canines is so proven. Yes, it is possible for there to be an incredible bond between humans and other animals, but it never seems to occur at the same frequency as it does between us and dogs. Dogs are special.

I’ve always been fascinated by the dog-cat rivalry. Never mind the underwhelming Cats & Dogs movie that came out sometime in the early 2000s. As a child, I would passionately argue with my younger sisters over which were better, always in favor of dogs even before my dream of owning one was realized. Eventually, my wish was granted and my parents got me one, the first of the four we now own. My sisters were given cats as well, so I guess we all ended up happy. I’m not sure why, but something inside me, for as long as I can remember, always knew a dog was the pet for me. Dogs are loving, loyal, fun, and will always have your back. A good dog is a pal anyone would be lucky to have.

Cats, on the other hand, always seemed so arrogant and unpredictable. They may walk up to you and meow annoyingly, demanding you pet them, and then five minutes later bite your hand when they get tired of it. Cats tend to act stuck up and ungrateful, strutting around the house like it’s their palace, and the fact they have to share it with you is an inconvenience. They tend to be ungrateful too. A cat isn’t likely to treat you any more nicely after you feed it or give it a treat. However, a dog gives credit where credit is due like a real bro should.

In all honesty, cats are pretty awesome too. They’re refined, quite elegant, smooth, smart, and cautious. They have excellent hygiene and are very civilized. Always measured, a cat will not rush into anything. Place a feast of a cat’s favorite treats in front of it, and it will still retain that feline dignity as it eats. Cats keep it professional too, if a cat falls or suffers some form of embarrassment, they’re likely to quickly run off into hiding, but will no doubt be back, strutting about within minutes like nothing ever happened. They also have a fascination with colorful trinkets and shiny objects.

Dogs are (no pun intended) a different animal entirely. Dogs are much more impulsive, a ‘do first and think later’ sort. They will chase after anything or anyone, bark and puff up their chests, trying to act tough, yet howl if they’re swatted by a harmless newspaper. Dogs have no problem with getting dirty or running amok, and don’t put nearly the same effort into cleaning themselves as cats. Dogs will gobble up any crumb the instant it touches the floor, swallowing so quickly it couldn’t possibly have actually been able to taste it. Much different than a cat, who takes time to savor and enjoy its food. Dogs are altogether lovable, but certainly can’t claim to have the same lofty class that a cat possesses. While a cat sits on the windowsill, basking in the sunlight with a beautiful, clean coat and thinking wise, feline thoughts, the simpleton dog will likely be chasing its tail, or barking at a “threatening” sparrow intruding on the lawn.

It’s painfully obvious ladies and gentlemen, dogs really are man’s best friend, and cats are the friends women deserve.

I jest, I jest. Don’t bite me Mother, or any of you dog-loving ladies. Dogs are for everyone.

Jokes aside, I’ve met some pretty awesome and fun cats in my day. I actually am convinced my sister owns the coolest cat in the world. I could write an entire article on Billy, the chillest and funniest cat you’ll ever meet.

But back to dogs.

One of the things that make dogs so great is that a dog will love you no matter what. It doesn’t care who you are or what you like. However much you love your dog, chances are it loves you more.

Dogs have done some incredible things for humans. There are hundreds of stories of how seemingly ordinary dogs have saved their owner’s life or traversed hundreds of miles to find the beloved human they were separated from. There are service and rescue dogs too. Dogs that serve in the military alongside out brave men and women. Really inspiring, and true stories, abound.

Of course, sometimes dogs just think they’re being heroic, or are just doing dog things and there’s really no telling what they’re thinking. Like the one time when I had to chase my dog a full lap around our block for no apparent reason, she just decided to go. Or when I brought my dog to my friend’s house and put her in the backyard with his much larger dog. My friend’s dog was as friendly a creature as you’ll ever meet, but Sophie was so intimidated that when I went into the yard a few minutes later, she jumped all the way up to my shoulder and balanced there until I finally held her.

Anyone who has owned a dog can tell stories of the amazing, practically “human” things their dogs have done, even if it’s something as simple as trying to comfort you when you’re sad. The fact that they can sense that is amazing. Any given dog owner could also tell about the time their dog decided to eat another dog’s poop, or drag it’s behind across the carpet, or maybe even terrorized the neighbor’s cat. Not quite the stuff that comes to mind when you think of a companion that can sometimes seem practically human. But maybe that’s part of why they’re so endearing. They are a lot like us. There’s good dogs and bad dogs. They come in all shapes and sizes and looks. Sometimes they astound us with their intelligence, and other times they make us laugh when they do something incredibly dumb.

Sounds a lot like humans. Smart people still do dumb things sometimes, and ordinary people can do heroic things. Some dogs are naturally protective, and will get up in the grill of whoever they think is threatening their owner. Other dogs just want to be friends with everybody, but will still choose their person at the end of the day. If you have a dog, make sure to show it some love. If not, consider checking Raegan’s article and find some spots where you can get some good dog therapy. I miss having my dog near me every day like she was when I lived at home, but I do appreciate getting to see my dog when I visit all the more now because of it.

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