This I Believe

Adam - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on January 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in Dogs. Specifically, in Labrador Retrievers. For a dog lover, this revelation may seem a bit unnecessary, but it is directed primarily at cat lovers, as well as those who favor neither species. While I will submit that cats have their own unique stamp to place upon the world, I feel Labs reflect back at humanity some of man’s best qualities.

I believe dogs embody the purest forms of human emotion, and Labs contain only the happiest ones. Some dogs can be angry, tense, neurotic and for lack of a better term, crazy. But Labs leave an indelible mark on my life because of their pure, unadulterated joy. I have, in my dog experience, seen many types of Labs, but I have never seen an angry, vindictive or mean Labrador Retriever.

My family had a Black Lab growing up, and he left me with fond memories of his panting smile, his rampant humping of blankets and his wanton desire to both give and receive affection. My love is hard to articulate to someone who has never owned a dog, someone who views them as a mere annoyance, an intrusion on their lives. It’s difficult to quantify why I love a creature that leaves massive amounts of hair everywhere, not to mention smells not normally associated with humankind. These odors include, but are not limited to, classic funky wet dog, and it’s much more deadly cousin, funky wet flatulent dog.

My wife and I currently reside with two Labs, a relaxed Yellow Lab named Sasha, and a rambunctious Black Lab named Jim Dandy. We often wonder what our lives would be like without them. We unanimously conclude that things would be much simpler, but also bereft of the gifts that Labs bestow by their mere presence. Like chewing the corner of your nice wooden coffee table, the one that matches your dining room table. I prefer to think of it as a little artistic flourish.

Humans, by virtue of their higher thought functions, can turn against one another, for many reasons. Your own flesh and blood can learn to hate you for a variety of offenses, both justified and not. But a dog, especially a Lab, will love you with a purity that transcends offenses, minor and major. A dog will stand by you, thick and thin, for richer or for poorer. Dogs will stand vigil over you and your family, regardless of economic or social standing, as long as you give them a little love in return. A few treats now and again don’t hurt either. I feel like dogs take the best qualities of humans and, through their sheer exuberance at being alive, remind us of what is ultimately important.

Labs can teach us lessons that we forget in the hustle and bustle of daily existence. The importance of loyalty and how sometimes, you should just lose yourself in the moment and have fun. That to love and be loved should be never far from your focus during your time here. They stand as reminders of these facts, to ground us and bring us back to what truly matters.