Jackie Suis blogs at Hope Boulevard. There she shares personal stories and offers up perspective as a single woman dating in midlife. Keep reading to see how she compares our human relationships with those of the canine variety.
Let me start by admitting that I am not a big dog person. I’m not a cat person, either, for that matter.
Now, I am not anti-dog, just have never invested the time, money and energy into raising one. However, I know plenty of people who adore their four-legged furry friends. They are considered part of the family. And I take no issue with that. In fact with the more modern view of canine co-habitation some of the traditional expressions seem dog-gone mean. “Sick As A Dog”…”Going To The Dogs”…”He’s A Dog”. And while that last one in particular is meant to be an insult, I would like to suggest we evaluate exactly what it would mean if “He” or “She”, behaved more like a DOG. I believe we might all have better relationships if we took our cues from the canine variety.
How Our Furry Friends Treat Us Best
Dogs Are Extremely Loyal
This marks the highest and most valuable trait. Dogs are with you no matter what. Bad hair days all the way to bad everything days. The good ones too. They are unshakeable. Right by your side. Unconditional love. Whether you want to take a run in the park or have to curl up on the couch with the flu, they are faithfully right there. Is that the way you behave towards your significant other? Do they know how important they are? That you are there for the long haul? They should. Loyalty is the one quality you cannot fake or buy. You either have it, or you don’t.
They Are Always Happy To See You Come Home
When the key turns in the lock, your dog automatically perks up. Sometimes you have been gone all day at work. Or it is just a night out with friends. But when you return home, they greet you with a wet kiss and great excitement. When your love walks in, do you take the time to show your delight? To know they have been missed with great expectancy for their return is excellent insurance to secure that return. (Read that sentence again and let it soak in.) We tend to want to be where we are most appreciated and welcomed.
Need a Cuddle Partner? Get a Dog!
Whether on the above mentioned flu couch or just all settled in for movie night, your faithful pooch loves nothing more than to scoot in as close as they can to you. When was the last time there was no discernible daylight between you and your partner? Cozy up soon. Even try a little petting. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Your Furry Friend Will Stand Between You And Danger
I love that no matter how small the dog or fierce the adversary, your pup will not back down. My heart breaks to read stories of faithful dogs that have paid the ultimate price to save or stay with their owner in peril. Ladies, that is exactly how your man should treat you. Would he run into the fire for you? Stare down a villain? Of course, I pray you never need to find out, but sometimes the little things are important too. Make sure you choose the one who will always have your back. There is a reason they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. And while I am not sure that is true, I will use that phrase to share this. You are not going to change your partner. If they are not good to you now, they never will be.
Dogs have other characteristics, too. They are very smart. They can be taught to fetch and roll over. (I’ll let you decide when those actions might be appropriate.) They are very playful. And one of my favorites… nonjudgemental. They don’t care if you drink the milk straight out of the carton. And they won’t rat you out if you wear the same socks or pjs two nights in a row. (Not that I’m admitting to either!)
Now we do have to put up with some less than stellar attributes as well.
Some shed. So know that wayward hairs can show up in unusual places.
They will watch you eat and beg for food.
On occasion they may sniff around and/or mark their territory. That’s all good. It just means all functions are a go. Being territorial is not always a bad thing. It is comforting to feel insulated and guarded. They say every dog will have his day. So let him have his.
And let’s not forget the treats. Rewards work well. And I do not mean that in a degrading way. Positive affirmation and special goodies forge a lasting bond. You are barking up the wrong tree if you think you can withhold love and affection to use as incentives. That will only backfire on you. Your favorite pooch will always return home when let out to run, but if you starve them, they may rustle through the neighbor’s yard. Keep them well fed at home.
Okay, enough of the double entendres and silly comparisons. I think I have made my point. As humans we all crave love and attention and affection. And I guess that animals have similar needs. That’s probably why they are such a good fit for us. The bottom line is this… treat your love like you want to be treated. Some would even say treat your love as good as you treat your dogs!
I will now just let this sleepy dog lie.