I was in the pub the other night watching a dog licking its arse like fury when its owner lifted it from the floor and holding it to her face gave it a big kissy-wissy-wiss. The dog, dutifully playing it's part as man's best friend, kissed her back, lapping its long pink tongue around her mouth and chops. 'Good boy!' she crowed, shaking him. 'He loves his mummy doesn't he?' Indeed he did, then wanting stimulation elsewhere she plonked the animal down again, whereupon it resumed teasing worms from the orifice that tormented it.
Not that I hadn't seen similar before but beered up I had to protest. 'One moment your dog is licking its arse and the next you're kissing it!' The gin and tonic shrugged, 'So what?' I went to add, 'Why don't you kiss its arse as well, and mine too while you're about it?' but decided otherwise. Drop it. End of subject. Serve the silly cow right if she gets canine toxocara and goes blind. So another one of life's mysteries, as if there aren't enough to be held at bay in the pub.
We love our doggies. The relationship is said to go back thousands of years when Canis lupus came to put its trust in man and so guaranteed its survival. Pack animals we both chased the same game, their senses were keener and their legs faster but we were smarter and our spears more effective. They hung around for kill and in doing so gave us warning of approach by night and day. It was only a matter of time before one got on top of the other. Now they get their kill from a can.
If you keep a dog you will have a protector, they bark and they bite burglars too. A cat doesn't give a damn, cats have servants, dogs have masters. Dogs are curious about people in a way cats aren't because they need to know where they fit in. I've noticed when a dog joins a group of people, and you refuse to take notice of it, after everyone has stopped making a fuss of it the odds are the animal will come to you. Only then do you pat it and let it settle beside you. Indifferent to its well-being you must be pack leader. Or it's your magnetic personality.
I have a vivid memory from childhood of two dogs stuck together. Big boys threw buckets of water and hit them with sticks but there was no separating them. I was concerned and frightened. My father saw the bullies off and put my mind at ease. He said, if I remember correctly, 'The one in front has gone blind and his friend is pushing him to the hospital.'