Abstract Musings

Documenting the random thoughts of a cluttered mind

The Joys of Dog Ownership

Ben Stein relates what brings him the most joy in life:

I have worked for two Presidents in the White House, been in dozens of movies, played in one of the best sitcoms of all time, The Wonder Years, won Emmies for my quiz show. I have been married to a glorious wife for almost 40 years and we have a handsome, rugged son. This is all good stuff, even great stuff….But….

None of this gives me the serenity that being next to a sweet, loving big furry dog gives. There is a magical connection between dog and human that offers a glimpse of heaven.

And, it seems that Dave Barry’s well reasoned arguments in favor of a dog haven’t been able to convince his wife of the benefit having a dog brings.

My wife, who would not touch the Special Toy with a barge pole, is less impressed. She fails to see the appeal of an animal that appears to be less intelligent than its own parasites. Oh, I’ve tried to explain the advantages of having a dog. For example:

A DOG IS ALWAYS READY. It doesn’t matter for what: Dogs are just ready. If you leave your car window open, the dog will leap into the car and sit there for hours. It will sit there for DAYS, if you let it. Because the dog knows that sometimes the car just starts moving, and you have to be ready! Usually the dog will sit in the driver’s seat, in case (You never know!) the dog is called upon to steer.

A DOG IS VIGILANT. One time, on a movie set, I watched a small dog walk past a line of six metal light stands. When the dog came to the sixth light stand – which was EXACTLY the same as the other five light stands – the dog stopped and began barking furiously at it. The dog would NOT stop. The owner finally had to drag the dog away, with the dog yanking wildly at its leash, still enraged by the light stand. Clearly the dog had detected some hostile intent in this particular light stand, something that we humans, with our inferior senses, were not aware of. We humans were thinking: “What’s WRONG with that dog?” Whereas the light stand was thinking: “Whew! That was close!”

Now, I must admit that I have never owned a dog. (I grew up with cats, lots of cats.) But my wife is an unabashed dog lover, and she has repeatedly shared with me the special joy a dog brings its owner. Her last dog died of old age while we were dating. She (the dog, not my wife – although my wife is pretty special too!) had such a wonderful personality that she transformed my aversion to dogs into an affinity for them. Unfortunately, we currently live in an apartment and aren’t allowed to have pets, but we do plan on being a home for a special dog when we own a house with a yard.