Second Chance: The Sacred Secret
Dear Pet Column,
I have a confession. My best friend is a dog. I know the old saying: “Dog is man’s best friend” should not be taken literally but I truly feel it is true for me although I won’t admit it to my people friends. Anyway, where did that saying come from?
Thank you for sharing your secret and trust me in that you are not alone in your pooch pal preferences.
The dog has long been considered the best friend to people. The earliest written record of this claim being made was by Frederick, King of Prussia (1740-1786), who referred to one of his Italian Greyhounds as his best friend. He received less criticism for that than you might expect for that day and age.
In fact, it was just a few years later that Voltaire wrote into history:
“It seems that nature has given the dog to man for his defense and for his pleasure. Of all the animals it is the most faithful. It is the best friend man can have.”
There are many theories about why the person-canine bond has become thick as thieves over the millennia – there is evidence that this bond is more than a hundred thousand years old – one being that wolves are responsible for our survival in that they taught us to hunt and live collectively and interdependently. Prior to our bonding with wolves, our species was much more independent and individualistic like chimpanzees and other primates.
In “Play Together, Stay Together,” Karen London and Patricia McConnell introduce an interesting perspective:
“The type of play we engage in with our dogs is relatively rare in the world of animal behavior…the fact that dogs and humans stay playful as adults is uncommon, and is a significant part of the relationship we share. To some degree, play isn’t what makes our relationship with each other better. Play is what creates the relationship in the first place.”
So, maybe the real reason dogs are sacred to us hominoids – and thus dog rescue a viable path toward enlightenment– is because it is a bond in which play is not only encouraged, but also rewarded.
Speaking of reward and paths of enlightenment…have I mentioned yet that I am available for adoption here at Second Chance Humane Society?
My name is Jango the Handsome Doberman. I am about four-years-old and my greatest desire is human attention and our love. I am a gentle giant who gets along well with other dogs. I enjoy all things humans enjoy except for hopscotch – I just can’t get my feet to cooperate in that game. I know some basic training, but could use work on the advanced stuff.
Check out my favorite bedtime story highlighting again, why you and I would make the best of friends.
It is said that giving up all their belongings and ties, the Pandavas, accompanied by a dog, made their final journey of pilgrimage to the Himalayas. Yudhishthira was the only one to reach the mountain peak in his mortal body, because he was unblemished by sin or untruth. On reaching the top, Indra asked him to abandon the dog before entering the Heaven. But Yudhishthira refused to do so, citing the dog’s unflinching loyalty as a reason. It turned out that the dog was his god-father, Dharma. The incident symbolized that dharma follows you till the end.
Psssst….my name is Caprice the Beauty Tortie. As you know many people actually think cats make better best friends than dogs. Yay for those people! Come adopt me and we can cuddle and nap and share all our secrets together…
Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.
By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)
Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org
Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.
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