It’s unconditionally a doggie dog world out there
Last Father’s Day, I told you about some funny, poignant and prolific words of wisdom often uttered by my father — not to mention the saucy and sidesplitting ones. #myfatherishilarious
Again, shameless plug for the future here but stay tuned for more to come on a book about the stuff my pop says.
Either way, as a child, I would occasionally misunderstand, misinterpret, mispronounce (especially the Italian quips) some of those one-liners, such as “It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.”
My grade school ears heard that expression as follows: “It’s a doggie dog world out there.”
As I got a little older, I realized my error. Okay, who am I kidding, my big sister told me I had it wrong. #duh
Regardless, over time, I began to like my mixed-up version of the phrase better than the original.
I mean, who wouldn’t rather have a world full of happy canines running freely about God’s green earth with their tails, jowls and ears wistfully flapping along in the breeze than a dank, dark place where packs of ruthless, savage beasts bite and claw at each other for dominance and the coveted alpha role?
Yep, as far as I’m concerned, I am living in a doggie dog world — and it’s the happiest way to spend a life, no?
Look, I’m sure some of you aren’t all about pups — but a lot of us are so incredibly crazy about our dogs that, to us, they are family. So for you lukewarm hound hounds (including you feline fanatics), I ask you to indulge my mongrel mania, just for today.
As I mentioned in one of my daily blogs this week (www.patriciakimerer.com), the makers of that film “A Dog’s Purpose” ruined last Saturday evening for me.
Quick recap: I rented the movie around 8 p.m., was curled up in the fetal position and crying by about 8:17 p.m., was bawling to beat the band a half-hour later, and by 9:45 p.m., I was catapulted back in time to one of the most painful moments of my life (the premature and shocking death of our beloved boxer Max in 2010) and was hyperventilating from ugly crying so hard.
It also evoked memories of losing my Cocker Spaniel Courtney several years earlier. She had befallen the same fate but at the much older age of 13 1/2, at which point she was almost deaf, nearly blind, riddled with tumors and howling in pain.
Then there was Shultzy. Poor Shultzy. He wasn’t even 5 when a massive coronary took him from us too soon as he and Kerry were playing in the backyard. It was 1996 and Kerry and I had only been married a year. I remember that his death bonded us, brought us closer together in our shared grief.
But then again; that’s what dogs do. They offer lots of important life reminders, such as:
RULE 1: Life is better with other people in it … including the furry, four-legged kind.
RULE 2: Unconditional love is rare; hold onto it with both hands if you’re lucky enough to find it.
RULE 3: Hard times are more bearable if you let others help you through them. (See Rule 1.)
RULE 4: Some humans are just not nice. They usually give off an unpleasant odor. Try not to bite them but ya gotta do what ya gotta do with meanies.
RULE 5: Just because somebody doesn’t look or walk or talk or even think the same way you do doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with them.
RULE 6: People love it when you’re happy to see them. Let them know it — often. This may or may not include licking them on the face.
RULE 7: Life is short. Don’t waste it being mean or sad or bitter or hurtful. Live in the moment and enjoy every day. BE HERE NOW.
RULE 8: How you treated others is all that really matters in the end.
It’s funny, really, how anyone could dislike a dog. I mean, sure some look menacing and a few are actually a bit aggressive (but I honestly believe that’s more human-taught trait than an innate one).
But at the end of the day, all a dog wants to do is love, love, love, love you. And love you some more. And eat. And smell stuff. And love you. And sleep. A lot. And love you. And run and play. And love you. And guard the house. And love you.
I was watching an old episode of “Supernatural” in which Dean (one of the two main characters) can magically talk with a German shepherd (who witnessed a murder). By show’s end, man and mutt had quite revealing discussions and a much greater appreciation of one another. In the episode’s waning moments, the dog looked up and said, “You know, we’re not really here as man’s best friend. God put us on earth to…” and just then the spell was broken and Dean could only hear barking.
But that’s okay, because I figured out long ago why God gave us dogs: as a reminder of life’s frailty and brevity … but also of His unconditional, never-ending love for us.
Oh, and for the head tilting. Who doesn’t love to see the head tilting? #adorableness
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who loves her dog Monica more than lots of the humans she’s met in her lifetime. Find out which ones at her daily blog site www.patricikimerer.com.