This I Believe

Adam - LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Entered on February 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Dog is “God” Spelled Backwards

People have asked me if I’m a dog-person or a cat-person. I have always said that I’m a dog-person, simply because I’m allergic to cats. Believe me, I like cats just fine, and I don’t doubt their tendency to be independent and intelligent creatures, but I think humanity can learn more from dogs than almost any other creature on this planet.

Every time I see a dog, an inexplicable feeling of happiness washes over me. A dog wags its tail, and it reminds me of how happy-go-lucky most dogs are. I see people yelling on the phone at loved ones, flipping one another off on the interstate, discriminating against their neighbors, and it reminds me how much of life we miss if we forget to wag our metaphorical tails.

Why don’t we have tails? We used to, but was it because of evolution that we lost them or that our sometimes malevolent nature just eradicated them from existence? Or maybe we just got caught up in life.

I watch dogs shows and see them doing all sorts of tricks and I begin to think of my own life, especially on days where my homework piles up endlessly, and I wonder why we bother to jump through the hoops? Does any of the busy work that we are forced to complete matter? Is there a reason that we do all this? Some would say for a high-paying job, for knowledge, for beer, for sex, etc… Then I comprehend that we do it for the same reasons that dogs do their tricks: for love, for acknowledgement, and maybe because we have nothing better to do.

Dogs are much wiser than we give them credit for. A dog runs in circles, chasing its tail and people say, “What an idiot; doesn’t it realize that it’s chasing itself?” All I can think is, “At least they’ve found themselves,” something that we humans often fail to accomplish. Others may say that dogs are simple when they see them drinking from a toilet. Yes, they are simple, but the water’s available even if it is where we normally put our waste. The difference between dogs and human beings is that dogs have learned to sift through the shit to find the real essence of life.

Maybe that’s why even after my dog chews my pens, sheds on my favorite shirt, and poops in the house, I still want to hold him and love him unabashedly. Because when he does that, after I’m done being mad, I realize that he’s teaching me to forgive, to love, to find out what this life is really all about.

This I Believe: You don’t have to be furry to live the Dog Days. The next time you see toilet water, I wouldn’t recommend drinking it; instead think of what it means to a dog. But the next time you see a dog, remember what it’s like to have a tail and to be happy.