Mans Best Friend
Mans Best Friend
Feb. 3rd, 2002
Mrs. Boothman Duyck
Mans Best Friend
Who do you consider your best friend? Is it the person you grew up with? Is it your husband or wife? For many it is someone that is always theyre for them when sad or lonely, or when one needs to talk, cry, or laugh. However, thousands of Americans are turning to their dogs for a favorite companion. This paper will explore the enduring phrase “Mans Best Friend” and the loyalty, faithfulness, intelligence, and companionship shared by dogs and masters that make this statement true.
Some might ask, why would anyone consider a dog their best friend? For many dog owners the answer would be loyalty. In a story from the Christian Science Monitor author William H. Carlile wrote, “There is a hero on West Eunice Street just outside the suburb of Tucson: a two-year-old female English Springer Spaniel named Brandy. She is credited by law-enforcement officials with attacking and chasing off an intruder last year at the home of her owners, Jerry and Kendal Plank, despite having been shot five times by a 9mm semiautomatic machine gun.”(11) This story is an excellent example of the loyalty a dog can acquire towards its masters, to be able to protect and even save lives. Loyalty is a very common trait given to dogs by their owners. Many of those who talk of the loyalty their dogs have for them will also have an incredible story to back up their beliefs. In an article in The Australian, an experienced hunter fell into a ravine and was unable to get out. He was there for five days before rescuers found him; they reported that temperatures fell below freezing at night and it rained three of the five nights (007). His dog Bee, was able to get out of the ravine but decided to stay with his masters. Searcher Brent Keightley said, “If it wasnt for the dog, Des wouldnt have survived.” The article tells of how the dog slept with him to keep him warm during the freezing nights (007). This story not only demonstrates loyalty but also the faithfulness that a dog and master often share.
“Mans Best Friend” is often considered a household phrase. Many people think of the loyalty of a dog when they here this saying, but for some it is also the loyalty of the owner and the friendship that builds between them. For an old baseball coach of mine it is not only a household saying but also the story of his relationship to his dog. Cassie, a black lab, went with him everywhere. Being a baseball coach, fireman, owner of a Construction Company, husband, and father of two this provides many places for Cassie to travel along side her owner. From games and practices to the work site of his construction jobs, she was always there to keep him company. As long as I have spent time around the two, he has talked to Cassie as if she were one of his kids. Stories like this can be found across the nation, proving that it is not just a few people who share a relationship at this level with their dogs.
Many people have researched and studied the intelligence of dogs. However, I was unable to find any information that even compared to a newspaper article I found out of the Christian Science Monitor:
Dusty, a two year-old bichon frise from Ely, Minn. Dusty was in a car driven by owner Joel Ward when it ran off a rain-soaked dirt road and tumbled into a forest. Even though he had been thrown from the car, Dusty made his way back to the road and jumped up and down in the middle of the road until a passing motorist called for help. Dusty then went back and stood guard over Mr. Ward until rescuers came. (Carlile, 11)
As I have shown here a dog can prove to be more than just a family pet. Many dogs become as closely attached to their owners as their owners are to them.
Some pet owners find that their dogs seem to understand them more than they had ever imagined. In a newspaper article for the Dallas Morning News author Ira J. Hadnot wrote, “Just as people select dogs, she says, dogs also select people for exclusive companionship. In such close relationships, the dogs can “read” their companions emotions and moods, she argues.” These were the words of anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (Hadnot). My dog Shasta, for instance, somehow knows when I am in playful moods, bad moods, or just being lazy. Almost anytime I am in a playful mood she will either come up to me with a ball or attack me, wanting to wrestle. One night, during my junior year of high school, I came home from a State Playoff soccer game and Shasta was the only being I wanted around me. During that game I had hyper-extended my knee and that night my parents were trying