Canine Hope

‘Friendship’ is a universe worth a word; shifting slowly with its own set of stars and black holes, satellites and meteors, dimensions and paradoxes. It has infinite reaches and equally complex layers while it remains ridiculously, mysteriously simple at its core.

But, as always a plot has a twist, this core is seemingly impossible to understand when our self-centered 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 selfish ends.

What is in it for me if I choose to trust you? Why should I buy you an expensive Christmas 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 as forgotten as the silly looking Dodo bird.

We overthink, we consider pros and cons, we try to take the beneficial routes, we manipulate. And in the end, we utterly fail to understand 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.

All of us fail, as a species, to genuinely care. To be 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 think. There IS real love out there tangled in this mess of murky emotions. Because when I say humans don’t 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 comprehend them, because a man’s critical eye sails right over them to gaze 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 simple brute offers. A dog chooses a master as a wand chooses a wizard and once the two journey unto 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 creatures 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 and no expectations of returns.

I feel grateful for having the opportunity of owning dogs at every stage of my life thus far. Of being chosen by these magical beings to be loved in that fierce, instinctive way that they have.

Here is what I must convey to you after experiencing all of my pets.

Canine companionship will help you in ways you cannot imagine. When you get your dog, genuine love will greet you at your doorstep after terrifyingly lonely days in the form of a generous lick, a wagging tail and a perpetually 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 and oddly timed walks. You will stop minding the shed hair on all your clothes and walk on with pride, wearing the shedding like a medal for being the proud owner of a beautiful creature. 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. 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 color it pink for all the grey days to 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 shatter. 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 commemorate everything my dogs have meant to me over the years and for all the dog lovers out there. I’ve learnt a lot from these odd, little creatures and I know I will continue to.




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