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Put Yourself in the Dog's Shoes
I have known some bad dogs. We all have. For the most part, though, if dogs are treated well by us, then they’re going to be good dogs.

Very good dogs. Our best friends, it is said. Okay, but are they fully committed to the relationship? They wag their tails and seem to be filled with adoration, but is it possible they might be feeling just a touch of say, resentment?

Let’s put ourselves, just for a moment, in the dog’s shoes. We get free food, which we must admit is a pretty good deal. Sort of, anyway. We don’t get as much food as we’d like sometimes. There are no seconds, either, or midnight snacks, or special treats…unless granted by the humans, in their great wisdom and generosity. Even then, it will be only one treat.

Furthermore, we almost never get the really good stuff — the food that humans themselves eat. Certainly no meat, unless you count scraps (waste the humans couldn’t bear to eat). Instead, we get kibble. It’s not that kibble tastes bad. But it’s all we ever get, sometimes for weeks at a time. I mean, Cheetos are good too, but do you want just them and nothing else?

And let’s be frank about freedom, shall we? As a dog, we’re in captivity most of the time. Penned, tied up, boarded, or just locked in the Big House. We could be forgiven for thinking that we are nothing but slaves — if we didn’t so completely buy into this arrangement. It’s kinda pathetic, to be honest.

But maybe that’s just our lot in this dog’s life. We don’t feel resentment because we enter the relationship willingly. We are given food, a warm, dry place to sleep, and lots of pats on the head…in exchange for our freedom.

There is, however, one more little item to consider. Picture us (as dogs, that is) approaching our fifteenth birthdays. Ours has been a full, happy life in many ways, and now we are getting near the end. But wait a minute! The humans — our so-called best friends — still have years, even decades left to live! Long after we have died (or been “put down”), they will sail on without us. Probably pick up a new dog along the way. Or several!

Now do we feel it? We are a lesser species, it seems. Smaller brain, shorter life, and without the ability to speak for ourselves. Plus, no hands! It stinks!

But so what? Even if we do harbor some bad feelings, there’s not much we can do about it. Chew up the furniture? Kill the cat? Become man’s worst enemy? I don’t think so. That would only make you a bad dog, wouldn’t it?

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Yes, voting matters. Polls do not.
~ H, Santa Cruz