Second Best Is All The Dog Gets

A dog is often said to be man’s best friend, and many women likely feel the same about canine friendship.

Most folks like dogs, although there are some who despise them. Those with a strong appreciation for their dogs have generally had an all time favorite. Just mention the name, and any acquaintance will know who is being talked about.

Why is there such a strong bond between man and dog? Because, as the saying goes, a dog listens, doesn’t talk back, never argues, is there when one is down, and is excited if things are going great. Even when reprimanded, a dog remains a friend.

We’ve had a number of dogs, usually while contending we didn’t need or want one. Lemon, a bird dog, may have been first, and then Gal, a champion field trial Pointer. Along the way were Moe, a Lab; Mutt, self-described; and Weimer, take a guess?

Without a dog for a time, our young son just had to have a free puppy with a mask over his eyes and named him Bandit. Though he wasn’t worth anything and could sure grab a sandwich out of a visitor’s hand, Bandit was part of the family for his lifetime. Burial rites made an impression on our son, as Gal’s interment decades earlier had on us.

Always with a fondness for Dalmatians, we traded riding a colt for a purebred female, and Miss BB joined the farm menagerie. Her best trait was raising pups out of the neighbor’s Heinz 57. She generally stayed in the yard, but one time wondered into the ditch, was picked up, taken to the pound and destroyed. Mad and sad, we were and are.

When a“free dog” ad came out in the paper, we responded and brought Purdie, a spaded and trained Dalmatian, home with us. She was likely the best dog we ever had, obeying most commands and doing several tricks with our horse. One evening, Purdie smelled a food sack on the highway, went to get it, was hit by a car and died.

Offers to replace her were refused until several months ago, a German Shorthair male showed up, and we adopted him, again as Mutt. Things were fine until a Shepherd female was “dumped” and literally took the place over. Getting rid of a dog is sure a lot harder than acquiring one. We paid a horse customer $40 to take the intruder away.

Despite most people’s admiration of dogs, only two of the Bible’s 43 references to dogs are the least bit favorable. Dogs get credit for “watching a flock” in Job 30:1, and Greyhounds are “praised for their gait” in Proverbs 30:3l. All other scriptures consider dogs unclean, dumb or wicked, and humans are even called“dogs,” as a term of scorn.

This is despite the fact dogs offer friendship, companionship, guardianship, herdsmanship and transportation. One theologian insists, “There are no dogs in heaven.” Bible writers evidently thought dogs made man break God’s First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no strange gods before me.” Dogs must rate as man’s second best friend.