It is a relationship developed over millennia: that between dogs and humans.
It’s a relationship cemented by wagging tails and wide smiles. A relationship defined by phrases like “dogs are better people than people,” or perhaps more accurately and entirely sensibly, “dogs make us better people.”
Why, at the conclusion of a week during which we witnessed a turnover at the highest levels of governance in the world’s most powerful nation and at a time Canadians worry about and debate a delay in delivery of hopefully pandemic-neutralizing vaccines, might a headline about dogs be sufficiently interesting to gain the attention of your personal radar?
Why, when Canadian premiers tell the prime minister they “want to go to war” with the United States over Keystone XL, is this column literally going to the dogs?
Because dogs are a lifeline to better times — better times experienced, and we pray better times to come.
A neighbour slowly walks a magnificent Golden Retriever down my street. It’s not de rigeur and certainly not COVID-recommended, but doors — apparently coincidentally — open and humans find reason to tread to the sidewalk as this wonderful creature with its friendly eyes, graceful demeanor and purposefully wagging tail performs as mobile de-stressor.
De-stressing is critical.
According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, some 181,000 small business owners nationally are “seriously considering permanently closing, putting more than 2.4 million jobs at risk, a release dated Jan. 21 says.
Simultaneously, headlines nationally detail the departure of a questionably-selected Governor General. Canada’s most direct connection to the Crown is described in unflattering terms as a workplace bully.
It’s an additional reason, perhaps, for cynicism and social media frustration.
Yet the neighbour’s Golden Retriever and his broader canine family, from the tiniest to their 100-plus-pound kin, manage to lower blood pressure and safeguard your well-being.
It is we, though, who apparently may beginning to negatively affect our pals. Dogs, sensing our changes in mood, may be beginning to experience a canine version of the blues.
If you’re fortunate to have a dog share your life, share your dog. Upload a funny video of your pal, preferably without you in it.
However, I must stop writing now. My neighbour and the Golden should be appearing any moment.
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.
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