Whenever I see a person with a dog in tow something in me melts. I used to think it was because I love dogs so much – more often than not I’ll stop to pat a dog on the street, particularly if it’s tied up, and mutter a few endearments to it. While that’s true I’ve realised the greater reason is that when you see a man with a dog revealed is something tender in them. Without the dog they are just another passer-by. With the dog they are revealed as a dog lover – a sentimental bunch – and of kin to me.
A pet adds dimension to the pet owner. People like me view them differently. Because we know what it is to love a pet we look upon other pet owners with brotherly understanding. From being a cypher they become an individual. We extrapolate from pet owner to person in the world. We don’t know who they are or what they do, but we know they go home and posses a life, and we figure they must be fundamentally decent. They become real, I think.
To love a dog, or any pet really, is to give over something of yourself. There’s a corner of your heart sentimental, tender and generous. That’s what I think anyway.