Everyone’s best friend, especially in the winter

Most of the time I’d describe myself as a people person. Except around this time of year when winter starts dragging, the cold makes my nose run, and other people are getting on my nerves by simply existing—although speeding when there’s an inch of ice on the street, pushing ahead in the grocery line while wearing a humongous parka so it’s like two people are pushing ahead of you, and sharing stories about their recent Florida vacation at an all inclusive resort tends to make people extra exhausting. 

That’s when I like dogs best. 

The problem with people is they have a bazillion moods that can change in a split second, while dogs have basically three moods: walk me, feed me, pet me. The rest of the time they’re asleep. 

When they aren’t asleep, dogs are superior to people in so many ways. Such as: 

Dogs can’t drive. This is a huge plus. There is something about the act of getting a driver’s license that changes formerly reasonable human beings into plain and simple tailgating stop sign blowing off lane changing without using their signals jerks. This is not an age or gender issue. This is a jerk issue. I firmly place the blame on all those “Fast and Furious” movies along with every single cartoon and game that shows cars smashing into you name it and then miraculously becoming whole again without showing a single call to an insurance agent. 

Dogs can’t talk. That is probably the nicest thing about dogs. They can listen, they can bark, but they can’t respond when you say things like, “Don’t you agree everyone at work should give me some kind of medal for being such an easygoing, downright enjoyable, rarely cranky colleague? Not to mention the fact that I bring brownies in all the time?” Thump thump thump goes Rover’s tail, and you know he’s behind you one thousand percent.  

Dogs eat whatever is put in front of them. Actually, they often eat a lot of things that aren’t put in front of them and are on the kitchen counter, but I appreciate how dogs will eat the same old kibble week in and week out without complaining. Just trying serving your family the same dish for two days in a row (“Meat loaf? Again?”) and you’ll get my point. 

Dogs are always happy to see you. Always. Can you imagine saying that about any other human being you know? Even if you were in such a bad mood from the moment your feet hit the ground in the morning that people ran from you like you were radioactive, your dog is going to be happy to see you at the end of the day. For people who don’t believe in miracles, I suggest they get a dog so they can witness the miracle of being loved even when they are at their most unlovable. 

Dogs don’t expect anything from you but food, walks and a soft bed. I don’t know about you, but every human I know expects at least a text every now and then. Charles Schulz said happiness is a warm puppy. He was right. Happiness is also a seven-year-old Labrador with questionable breath who looks at you with big brown eyes like he won the lottery. 

Cats are good too since they have even less moods: sleep and eat. They are also mostly silent, although slightly fussier in the food department than dogs, but you’re never going to catch one behind the wheel of a Ford Escape driving 60 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood. 

Maybe we should all become more dog and cat like during the winter months, thus reducing the inevitable friction these gloomy days can and do bring. Eat, go for a walk when the temperature allows and sleep as much as possible.  

Or maybe we should all just hibernate until the baseball season starts—with our dogs and cats on our beds, of course. 

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