The ubiquitous ‘they’ are all the time ‘saying,’ aren’t they? Sometimes I get to wondering — who actually said in the first place? And why did ‘they’ make it their life’s mission to keep on repeating it?
Still, they say that a dog is “a man’s best friend.” How long has that been the case? Have dogs ever been reviled? Disdained? Hung from the rafters? Well, it turns out, yes, they have. You can read about it here. Who knew??
I’ve been a dog lover since I can remember. I’m more a fan of the big dogs. You know — labs, shepherds, boxers, danes. The ones I’ve known have been extraordinary friends to the families who give them homes. The humans tolerate the slobber, the hair, the occasional indoor accident. The humans praise and scold and scratch the pups behind their ears. The humans feed and water and shelter and reward good behavior with savory treats. The humans make soft comfy beds for the dogs (okay, they probably buy these). The humans exercise the dogs, get them harnesses, leashes, collars and even coats. After all, friends don’t let friends down.
It’s a bit warm this mid-June morning — 83 degrees at 11:00 a.m. with a steady 10 mph breeze rustling the leaves. (I really should have been a meteorologist). “Let’s go for a walk, Jack!” I said to the pup, as I do most mornings around here. He pretends to not want to go (it’s because he’s still a bit freaked out by his harness, used for his neck’s protection as he goes at speeds and directions that I can hardly match), but he loves every minute of it. He zoomed along at his usual pull-my-arm-out-of-its-socket speed until, without warning, he spied a shady spot of grass, and laid himself down.
“What the heck?!”
I guess I didn’t account for the humidity, hovering around 67% and apparently too much for the dog.
Now, what’s the dog’s human supposed to do with that? We were still three-quarters of a mile from home, for cryin’ out loud! He might be my ‘best friend’ and all, but I’m not carrying home 68 lbs of dog because he’s hot!
But he was hot. When we finally made it home (I used my sweetest, cajoling voice to encourage him, and not my brute strength, because I do have a little bit of one and none of the other), Jack beelined it to a safe, cool spot:
Proving a point we’d all do well to remember: Friends don’t let friends take a walk in the heat and humidity. Especially the best friends, apparently. Sheesh…