It’s a War Out There
We can’t both be right.
Survival of the fittest.
And, of course, it’s a dog eat dog world.
I could go on. English is steeped in competitive talk. There are winners and losers.
But what if that’s wrong? Can everyone win? Or will someone always have to lose to someone else’s interests?
And why are you reading this in a dog blog?
Some of you have probably been accused of spoiling your dog. I know I have. And in a world where people plan dog weddings followed by a honeymoon in a luxury dog sex motel, Honey is by no means spoiled.
Someone might even have said to you, “So many people are suffering. Why do you work so hard to help dogs?”
As if it’s a competition. We either help people or we help animals. We can’t do both.
I don’t believe it’s one or the other. Not only do I believe we have enough to improve the lives of people and animals, I believe that much of what’s truly good for animals is also good for humans. And vice versa.
Unfortunately, humans spend so much time chasing the mediocre we no longer recognize the truly good. And, if someone threatens our grasp of the mediocre, we start to go a little nuts.
Don’t believe me? Google the phrase “no more twinkies” and see what you get.
Replacing the Puppiness Project
Last week I said goodbye to the feature I’ve been writing for two years: The Puppiness Project. I wrote 90 posts exploring my own neuroses and how I could be so much better a person if I would just be more like Honey, my Golden Retriever.
Ok, I’m neurotic.
Now I want to move forward. I want to live a good life, not just a life. And if the good life harms others, it’s probably not the good life I thought it was.
I’m starting out slow. I’m not going to tackle restoring natural habitats to prevent future devastation in New York and New Orleans. Or whether wolf packs and sheep herders can share the same ranges.
I’m going to keep looking for small examples that animals and people are meant to live together and that we can both win.
I’ll leave you with a little story.
Does a Puppy Belong in a Hurricane Clean Up?
My husband spent the weekend helping Staten Island families clean up after the flood. The needs are so great. And any crew of workers can only do a fraction of work that will be continuing for months.
Walking down a street, Mike saw a roly poly bundle of fur on the end of a leash. A closer look revealed a three-month old husky pup who was dying to meet him.
I know people who think caring for a dog is frivolous when so many people need help.
But I also know that my husband got a lift to his spirits to meet a happy pup, as I’m sure the other volunteers did.
And the puppy was getting great socialization. He was learning that people bring good things and that the world is a happy place. Which, in turn, will help him grow into a content, mature dog less likely to harass or bite people.
If You’re Still Reading
… then I hope you’re intrigued. And you’ll stop back each Monday to see the Puppiness Project transformed into a large life lesson:
Dogs live with humans because it benefits them. Humans live with dogs because it benefits us.
Thousands of years of co-evolution bind us together. A spitty tennis ball or a little bit of weekend mischief makes it fun.
We Have a Winner
Jackie Bouchard won a copy of The Things You Find on the Appalachian Trail: A Memoir of Discovery, Endurance and a Lazy Dog. Congratulations, Jackie!
Okay, I know that goes against my philosophy of everyone winning.
But I hope you enjoyed meeting Kevin and Rufus in my review and that you’ll be inspired to spend time outdoors with your pup. Even if you don’t want to hike 2000 miles.
Do you think the welfare of humans is linked to the welfare of animals? Or do you think we’ll always have winners and losers and, until animals get opposable thumbs, humans will win?