‘Friendship’ is a universe worth a word, shifting and morphing slowly with its infinite sets of stars and black holes, satellites and meteors, dimensions and paradoxes. It has complex layers and twisted branches, all growing over and out of a core that lives on in mysterious simplicity.
But, as always a plot has a twist, this core proves seemingly impossible to understand when our self-centred human minds get to work. Men have attempted to fathom the depths of ‘friendship’ for generations, twisting and turning it’s meaning to serve their own needs and to achieve their own ends. But often, they have lacked the very mechanism that facilitates the perception of this concept- pure, dumb innocence.
What is in it for me if I choose to trust you? Why should I buy you an expensive Birthday gift if you do not possess the means to get me one in return? Why should I care? Why should I be your friend?
Genuine feelings of selfless love, respect, gratitude, and empathy are almost as forgotten as the silly looking Dodo bird in this day and age of frivolous social validation and deep alienation. We, as a generation, overthink. We consider pros and cons, we try to take the beneficial routes, we manipulate. And in the end, we utterly fail to comprehend what it means to have a true friend. Of course, this isn’t always the case and once in a while stories of true bravado and camaraderie arise to baffle me; but in our constantly evolving world of personal benefits and business meetings, one cannot deny that man continues to grow extremely lonely and incredibly dense with each passing day.
All of us fail, as a species, to genuinely care. To express perfectly loyal to our companions. To do whatever it takes for someone else’s sake.
It sounds hopeless, really.
But it isn’t as bad as you might think. There IS real love out there, entangled in this pessimistic mess of murky emotions. Because when I say humans don’t often understand friendship, I don’t mean that no other creature on this planet doesn’t either.
Some things in this world are so simple that it takes a dog to recognize them because man’s cynical eyes sail right over their helpful existence to gaze instead at the void looming far into the horizons.
I believe that when a dog finds his master and falls in his own version of love, no human conceptions of the feeling can dare compete with the resolute devotion and boundless affection that the creature offers. A dog chooses a master as a wand chooses a wizard and once the two journey into the great adventure that is life, there is no separating them. They became eternal in their love for each other. Man and dog, best friends since beasts could be befriended. These animals are much like humans when they choose their soul mates, but once they chance upon the One, there are no hesitations, no second thoughts, and no fears. There is only love to give.
I feel grateful that I have come of age in a house that has always welcomed dogs. I am lucky to know of their fierce instinctive love, and I feel the need to convey the learnings of my experience of it.
Canine companionship can help you in ways you cannot imagine. When you get your dog, something pure will greet you at your doorstep after terrifyingly lonely days with a generous lick, a wagging tail, and a wet nose. It will instantly make you feel better because you will know that even if the whole world decides to give up on you, there will always be your dog waiting back home. Your dog, and no one else’s. Your friend, no matter what.
You may not know how to receive all this love initially, but over time, you will accept it. You will grow to become a better version of yourself with your friend’s nudges to bring out the best in you. You will develop a new threshold of tolerance and forget to groan when confronted with endless barking sessions and oddly timed walks. You will stop minding the shed hair on all your clothes and begin to live on with pride, wearing the mess like a medal for being a very proud owner. You will succumb to big, watery eyes and soft, throaty whines and give up the last piece of meat on your plate for the expectant eyes below the table every single time. You will find yourself telling your dog things you’ve never told a human soul before and you will unconsciously make silly songs about it when nobody is around. You will tackle and pounce and laugh and learn. You will make a friend that will change your life and give it sparks of colour in all the grey days that come.
You will also know, after years of overwhelming joy, what it feels like to lose a friend like that. You will learn of pain that comes with death and you will question the very essence of life. You will be shattered. You will be angry. You will object. But you will learn how to cherish memories and you will smile about what used to be. You will learn to appreciate the beauty of a life lived innocently. You will cry, but you will not regret your decision of accepting all that love for even a second.
You will grow. And this journey will be beautiful.
I write this to express my firm conviction that loving an animal can actually make you a better person, and if you’re feeling lonely and incomplete, you should get a dog.