Do Canines Own Us or Do We Rule Them?

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Dogs are some of the most beloved pets ever welcomed in the human home. They gaze at their owners with those big doggy orbs, doze at your feet, welcome you when you arrive home, wriggling madly as if you were a lord, and humbly chow down whatever wholesale dog food you choose to provide them, all the while fiercely guarding your house with ferocious barks and their best guard dog imitations. We seem to have deciphered how to make dogs obedient and willing subordinates. Compare them to felines. As magnificent as the kitty may be, it is constantly, 100% of the time, postulating run away! Rarely does the dog.

At least, that is the tale we have invented for our own satisfaction. But actually, don't you wonder if pups have conquered all of the fine points of the trade and easily control the human beings that they own?

Canines have persuaded us to rescue them and conquer their wild origins. We supply them with meat, warmth, companionship, fulfilling occupations, doggy dress when needed, and fascinating wholesale dog chew toys. They have even persuaded us to spend ridiculous amounts of our money on washing, clipping, and trotting them around an arena just so we are able to win a blue ribbon and they can collect praise and more juicy bones.

Possibly, you speculate, working dogs don't enjoy their jobs that much. But think about it. A fulfilling task is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world for person or beast, at least as long as we are all handled well. Man's best friends get to frolic around herding sheep; run over the snow and ice in a leaping burst of energy; gently steer a blind companion through a wholesale dog store (where Fido gets to pick his own treats). They get to sit tall on fire trucks; work with peace officers; enlist in the military; and save us from danger by detecting contraband and weapons, all the while receiving admiring glances from their grateful audiences. In short, they occupy some of the most august places anywhere. This is not work; this is a fame! Isn't Rin Tin Tin more talked-about than you are?!

True, in return, our happy hounds give us constant loyalty and make us want to live up to the gods they think we are and who deserve such greetings at the end of the day. They loll their tongues and smile; they fetch, they let you take them on excursions (or, more accurately, they take you) and they play with the children. And the feel of that silky head as we murmur good night with a pat really cannot be replaced. If all they ask in return is a few treats or a great big pillow bed from a wholesale dog store - and that they get to think they are the alpha dog - surely we can ungrudgingly oblige

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