By David Ficarri
-Diversions with Dave-
The work never ends when you’re man and woman’s best friend.
“So, I was sitting on the couch and my wife sweetly whispered, ‘The best part of all this is I get to spend more time with you.’ As l looked over at her lovingly, I realized she was talking to the dog.”
“Experiment to see who loves you most. Lock your wife and dog in the trunk of your car. Let them both out in a half-hour and see which one is happy to see you.”
Sometimes in life, we laugh because things are funny but we also laugh because they’re true. Now, I’m not sure if either of those scenarios are entirely accurate, but judging by my friends who are dog owners, I wouldn’t say they’re out of the realm of possibility.
Their loyalty, companionship and unconditional love are all traits we’d admire in our fellow humans but somehow dogs seem to take those characteristics to heart. But, if you’re a dog owner, you’re keenly aware of those endearing traits.
One of the great things about the internet is that it allows you to see into parts of the world that previously seemed so distant. Thankfully, through the magic of technology, now our four-legged friends have their own wildly popular Instagram pages which often chronicle the daily hijinks and shenanigans of our favorite animals.
Quite frankly, they’re far more interesting than the so-called “social media influencers” and “models” that proliferate our newsfeed. Our best friends serve as valuable tools and companions in often heroic fashion.
From the seeing eye dogs who assist blind people in everyday activities to K-9 police dogs who serve dutifully faithfully in our communities to emotional support dogs who have helped thousands of military members get readjusted to civilian life, these four-legged friends are as heroic as you can get. Other dogs have been known to sniff out abnormalities in diabetics and cancer patients, weapons and drugs at airports, and follow a trail of missing or endangered people.
There’s very little that escapes these amazing creatures. Not to mention, they’re very adept at distinguishing between real bacon and that imitation nonsense.
The fictional story of Buck is partly based on London’s own encounters with a dog while he participated in the 1896 Klondike Gold Rush. Unfortunately for London, his trek was cut short due to a serious case of scurvy, but his interactions with Buck, whose actual name was Jack as well, led him to write his most iconic work. Once again, the noble qualities of our best friend prove their never-ending worth.
While “The Call Of The Wild” is fiction, the story of Balto is true. To summarize, in 1925 the residents of Nome, Alaska faced a fatal epidemic of diphtheria. Lo and behold, with the uncompromising terrain proving
impossible for humans to traverse alone, a group of sled dogs came to the rescue. In a relay named “The Great Race of Mercy,” groups of dogsled drivers and their trusty companions completed a nearly 650-mile journey in 50 below zero weather to deliver the life-saving serum.
The unlikely hero, Balto, led the charge the last 55 miles and when the pack pulled into town, it was Balto’s face the townspeople first met. Thus, a hero was born and in 1925, a statue of Balto was erected in Central Park, New York to honor the event and the “indomitable spirit of the sled dogs.” The statue stands to this day.
With all the events that have transpired this year, perhaps instead of all the vitriol, divisiveness and fear that is spreading, we all could learn a lot from that “indomitable spirit” of Balto, Buck, and all the other kind and compassionate souls our dogs are. We should strive to make this world a place that our dog-friends would approve of.