Monday, May 15, 2006

Man's Best Friend

The domestic dog has long been considered man's best friend. He was the first animal to come in from the wild and take a place alongside man. He is a loyal and trustworthy protector. He is the sidekick who will always be there when his owner needs him. As pet owners we always strive to provide the best for our best friends...or do we?

A pet dog usually eats the same dry or wet dog food day-in, day-out for its entire existence. Now, having tasted a number of different dog foods, I can testify to the fact that it is not a trip to flavor country. The dry dogfood seems to be made up of synthetic nutrients mixed with various types of protein meal, I know it sounds tasty but really it isn't. A few dogs may receive as part of his diet a nice wet can of animal products but these dogs are the lucky few. Supplementary to his regular meal a dog might get a special treat, like a dog biscuit. Anyone who has ever tasted a dog biscuit might be puzzled by the excitement these morsels can induce in a dog. I guess compared to the daily monotony of flavor free foods these biscuit might be the equivalent of a strawberry sundae.

But a dog cannot live by food alone. What kind of beverage does man's best friend rate? Nothing but the best here. Most dogs get a choice between fresh water or tepid water. Fresh only if the dog gets to it within the first hour. I can't count the number of times I've had a hankering for a bowl of water that has been sitting out for about 14 hours, maybe with a nice clump of hair floating in it. Is it any wonder that the dog will drink out of the toilet when the opportunity presents itself? It is, after all, the freshest water source he can find!

Maybe this daily regimen can account for some of the "bad" behavior that is exhibited by dogs. Is the dog really behaving badly or is he showing initiative? I feel the dog is perfectly justified in its actions. Put yourself in the dogs place. After a couple of years of dry dog food and luke-warm water one might be compelled to seek other sources of sustinence. Say, for example, the garbage can. After a while I would think that a nice helping of garbage would look pretty good compared to the usual protein meal medly. A more desperate dog, who perhaps doesn't have access to garbage, might be reduced to a more base form of taste enhancement such as licking it's own genitals for the salty flavor, after all change is change.

Come on people, is there anything sadder than that? Personally I can't blame a dog for begging for table scraps. It seems like the only logical thing for an intelligent creature to do in that situation. In fact I would have serious concern about the intelligence of an animal that can consistently be satisfied by that kind monotonous garbage. All the dog wants is a little variety and a more appetizing choice of food. They say that a dog that has been fed table scraps tends to not eat it's own food anymore. Really, can you blame it?

Consider the following analogy. For the last five years you have been living with a roomate. This roomate is in charge of meal preparation. In the last five years very meal your roomate has supplied you with has consisted of a plate of rice and beans and a glass of water. You have no knowledge of any other kind of food or food source so you go ahead and eat up. One day your roomate gives you a taste of their pizza. Now if you were a dog it would be assumed that you would go back to rice, beans and water with no complaint. However if you were a human the proper response would be to shove said rice, beans and water straight up the roomates ass at which time you would resign yourself to a strict pizza diet.

This brings me back to the original point. Man's best friend??

Lucky dog. I'd hate to be man's worst enemy.

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