I'm grateful for dogs and in particular this noble fellow, my childhood dog Jason. I still remember the day we picked him up in our our Volvo station wagon. Looking over the back of the seat at this excited pup who seemed a little unsure about being separated from his mother but excited about the possibilities that laid ahead. Jason grew to become a gentle giant of a dog with a curiosity expressed by his deep bark at the slightest sign of anything different or new in his environment. He was a constant companion through my childhood always excited to welcome me home from school and, like a typical golden retriever, coating our world in hair.
More recently I've pondered whether we prevent dogs from just being dogs by subverting them to our will. But then again, dogs have evolved in lock step with humans. The ancestors of our beloved pets perhaps lingered on the edge of the campfires of our ancestors, looking for a scrap of meat and as we learned to live with them, they learned to live with us - a symbiotic relationship of sorts.
Dogs provide us with companionship and expressions of what we perceive as non-judgmental love. Dogs also serve in law enforcement, search and rescue, as guide dogs for the disabled and therapy dogs for the sick and elderly. Sadly dogs also experience the dark side of human nature through abuse and abandonment. If you are considering a dog, save a life and consider adopting a dog from your local Humane Society.
I'm grateful for our canine companions.