Why You Should Get A Dog
For those who have never owned a dog the phrase “man’s best friend” may seem kind of alien, even a bit weird. As in: “What’s the matter? Can’t find any real friends?” From the perspective of the outsider that may seem like a reasonable assertion. In most cases, however, the cynicism and doubt tend to dissipate once a guy puts in a little quality time with their new pooch. Pretty soon they’re making excuses to take the dog for a walk, buying them chew toys without being asked and acting like concerned moms if Rex betrays the slightest sign of ill-health. So what gives? Well, dogs give. And give. And give. Until you realize what a narrow-minded, selfish git you’ve been and start giving back. Here are a number of good reasons why every man should have a dog.
They Teach You Patience
Most guys tend to be something less than paragons of patience. They want what they want and they want it now. But patience is a virtue that will pay endless dividends in both your business and personal life. And few things will teach you patience quite like the furry, drool slathered beast that just peed on your leg while you’re watching the playoff game. Dogs need to be taught proper behavior, right from wrong and all that stuff. The good news is they’re smart and savvy and eager to learn. But it won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to be both patient and persistent. And you’ll wind up better off for it.
They Teach You Responsibility
While there are exceptions most guys tend to be slow on the uptake when it comes to assuming responsibility. What they want to do is attend keggers well into their 30s and give their laundry to their moms. Dogs have a way of quietly transforming irresponsible young men into well-balanced responsible citizens. They do this in different ways. First off they need to be fed regularly and properly. But they also require medical care, training and exercise. They also force you to get acquainted with things like dog shampoo. And sometimes they dig up the new flower bed in your neighbor’s front yard and get caught red-pawed. Forcing you to accept responsibility. Before you know it you’re an adult.
They Force You To Look Beyond Yourself
Keggers, bedding that hasn’t been washed since MySpace was THE app and 24/7 live sports streams are all very well and good. But there comes a time in every man’s life when he needs to recognize there are others on the planet besides himself. Dogs can help you do that. When your brother says he has the munchies you pretty much leave it up to him to order the pizza. But your dog can’t order take out peanut butter when his stomach is growling. You have to get up and feed him. Do this enough and before you know it you’re starting to wonder whether your dog is hungry. Which means congratulations are in order. You’re starting to think about someone else.
They Toughen You Up
“What’s that? Are you calling my manliness into question? You’ve obviously never smelled my shoes!” You might think you’re the manliest of men but few things are going to test your constitution like having to pick up some other being’s crap day after day. It’s a humbling and toughening experience. The thought of a Jurassic Park sized pooh nestled into the upholstery of your sofa make you want to wretch? Don’t worry. You’ll toughen up soon enough.
They Teach You Loyalty
Treat your dog right and you’ll discover he actually cares about you. In fact, when the chips are down, he’ll go to the mat for you and nobody else. That’s called loyalty and it’s what separates Rex from the other four legged beasts on this rock. Sensing (and perhaps seeing examples of) this devotion from your dog is going to generate a reciprocal sense of loyalty in you. Before you know it if somebody looks at your dog the wrong way you’re going to be all up in their face. And while we certainly hope you learn to temper your reactions to perceived K9 slights over time, the point is that one day you’ll wake up and realize you’re as loyal to your dog as he is to you. It’s a bee-u-tee-ful thing.
They Help You Develop Your Own Potential
As time passes and you begin to reap the benefits of dog ownership you yourself slowly, inexorably become the man you always envisioned you would be. You’re more confident, generous, patient, loyal and understanding. And you’ve got an iron constitution from cleaning up all that doggy doo when the two of you were first getting to know each other. You’ve become a quiet leader and a strong and dependable companion. In a very real sense you’ve become an alpha dog yourself, in the best sense of the term.
They Teach You The Facts Of Life
No, not those facts of life. The facts of life having to do with mortality. Since your buddy is going to age the equivalent of 7 years for every year you age he’s not going to be with you from crib to retirement. In fact, his life may run its course in a decade or less. As he ages he’s going to need your help, your patience, your understanding, plenty of dog joint supplements and your loyalty. All the things he helped you cultivate. And make no mistake, when you’re best friend, your sergeant at arms, your workout companion finally heads off to that big chew toy in the sky it’s going to be rough. The only good thing that will come of it is that he’ll have taught you one parting lesson: Life is short. Make the most of every day.
A dog is more than just pet. He (or she) is the instrument by which more than a few men have come of age. So get a dog. You’ll be a better man for it.