Once upon a time... a long, long time ago... I lived in Alaska! Alaska was gorgeous, natural and wild (some of the characteristics I wish to attribute to myself,) and it was just my cup of tea. I realize that Alaska is the one state that even "most" U.S. citizens can't say they have ever been. Granted, it is remote, cold and hard lived. Still, Alaska was all "love" for me. I reveled in the great, the good and the almost not great bits of Alaska. I soaked it in. Truth is... I loved Alaska with all my heart. Some people cannot relate to this... I know. In fact, what I have found is that if you don't love Alaska, you probably hate it or at least are greatly indifferent to it. I am pretty sure that those with hostilities towards the place, focus mainly on the difficulties that life there can bring. After all... what's so great about being mauled by a grizzly or freezing your extremities off? Maybe one would be indifferent because they have no personal experience with the state or maybe they think it is a barren wasteland of igloos and darkness? Why, you may be asking yourself, is she rambling on about Alaska? Well the answer is that I see my passion for Alaska as a metaphor (somewhat lengthy,) for the way man feels about dogs. Either you love 'em or you hate 'em. I tend to be more on the ga-ga side of love.
Okay, no, I am not one of those who believes in dressing my dogs or carrying them around in a sack, (although I did sneak my dog "Maggie" into my flight line job in the Air Force... in a picnic basket... because she was the tiniest cutest Dalmatian puppy anyone had ever seen.... and I couldn't bear to leave her alone all day... again that was a long time ago, don't judge... but I digress!) But I do see dogs as one of God's greatest creations! Just like Alaska, dogs are noble and majestic. If anyone has ever watched a bird dog lock into a point or seen a sheep dog herd or watched a hound dog track or even been comforted by their own beloved pet... it would be hard to argue against the nobility and majesty of the dog. I almost can't recall the site of Mt. McKinley without getting misty. So too, I can't recall the site of search and rescue dogs at the World Trade tower wreckage, on 9/12, and beyond, without tears pooling in my eyes. In Alaska, one looks forward to the predictability of "break-up," and the emergence of spring with joy and reassurance. Who, amongst the dog -loving hoards of the world, have not felt that same feeling in anticipating the greeting you receive when being greeted by your dog? And as predictable as Spring in Alaska, so too is your dog's exuberance about seeing you, (even if you just went to the bathroom and came right back.)
Not to belabor the point here but, either you love them or you don't. Now, it is possible that one's dog disdain is rooted in a bad experience or just simply seeing the drawbacks of having a dog. Dogs can bite when they feel scared or cornered. (So can I, by the way.) Dogs lick themselves, they can knock you over in their enthusiasm and they do... after all... eat poop. True, true and true. Just as true as there are bears and snow in Alaska. However, one can never deny the pleasure and delight they bring to so many. So for me, the benefits of loving a dog are so much greater than the drawbacks could ever be! The only drawback to having a dog, that I will even acknowledge, is that their lifespan is so much shorter than my own. You love dogs or you don't, you're all in or you're out. There is no middle ground. If you're Doggie, you're like me... Doggie for life!