From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “that’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.” Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog,” but I did not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog,” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day. If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,” then you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.”
“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of “just a dog”, I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.
So for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog”, but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a man or woman.”
So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog” just smile… because they “just don’t understand.”
by Richard Biby, Tulsa, Oklahoma Contributing Editor VHD From “The Versatile Hunting Dog” NAVHDA’s Magazine February 2006
What do you think about that? I found this piece while surfing the Inter-webs a few months ago and I bookmarked it because I knew I wanted to write my own piece on it. For those of you who have never had a dog, and sadly, even for some of you who do, none of what Richard Biby wrote here will strike a chord with you like it did with me. To me, my “just a dog” is my child, so when anyone says, “Just leave her, she’s “just a dog”, I wonder how they would feel if I told them to leave their baby, I mean…it’s “just a baby”.
Non-dog people just don’t understand though. And even some people who own dogs don’t get that these amazing creatures that we as humans have domesticated are really meant to be a part of the family, not “just a dog”. And it amazes me when I hear dog owners say, “Our dog is dumb or a menace or too hyper or whatever”, because a dog is only what you make it to be. I mean, how do you think a child would turn out if he or she was never taught how to talk, how to walk or for that matter…how to love?
No…dogs are meant to be a part of the family, to go places with the family, to be given just as much love as any other member of the house, otherwise…what’s the point in having them? Dogs are just like humans, they have personalities, humor and intelligence way beyond what most people give them credit for. Just because they can’t talk doesn’t mean they can’t or haven’t tried to communicate with you. They do everyday…you just have to pay attention to them long enough to know what it is they’re trying to say.
At times they will annoy you, just like any human will. And at times they will make you laugh and there may even be moments when because of them, you will cry. But if you view them as “just a dog”, you will never have the pleasure of experiencing any of this and so much more.
So for those who think it’s “just a dog”, you’re “just missing out”.
What are your thoughts?