February 22, 2020

Best Friends Man

By Dean Steinberg

Ok, I have figured it out. The age old question (all right maybe not a puzzle to many, but it was to me), why we love our dogs so much?  I had a bunch of time to think about this recently because my dog was the reason I gave up a free trip to Hawaii last week. I had the time off from work, plane tickets reserved, hotel (5 star, on the beautiful white sand beach of the big Island) all taken care of, yet I stayed home, but was at least fortunate to be able to drive my friends to the airport at 5am waving them off on their jaunt into paradise.

So I'm getting onto the 405 North along with the million other cars up at this ungodly hour, heading back to the San Fernando Valley (where the temp was only supposed to reach 103 degrees that day) and you would think I would have questioned my decision to stay home. Nope. Home was where my senior citizen Aussie Cattle Dog Percy was sleeping, (I asked him to come with on the drive to the airport, and he shot me a look which I read as “are you F*#^!*G kidding me” before his head fell back on (my) pillow and he was out) and he was the reason I bowed out of the week in paradise. It’s not that dramatic. The boarding place where I would leave him on the few occasions I needed to, had recently been audited, or inspected, or whatever the F*^#K you call a dog kennel investigation and would not be able to house him for the week without his
vaccinations, as they had always done in the past. Yeah, I don't vaccinate my dogs past the initial ones they get either as a puppy or when I rescue them as adults. According to the Veterinarians who's guidance I've read or spoken to, yes the ones who care more about the actual health and longevity of the dog than they do about money, say that shit (vaccinations) are poison. And, I have done some of my own research, and the overwhelming evidence as far as I can tell is that there is no rabies in Sherman Oaks. Anyway…this kennel needed their shit to be on the up and up for a semester or two so I was out-of -luck. So the thought that morning after I put my friend in my seat on that plane was not “did I make the right decision” but why “did I make that decision”?

The truth is, and I know many who would agree with me, if not with the same fanaticism as I, is we love the shit out of our pups. I am reminded of a hike I was on in Runyon Canyon a few weeks ago where I witnessed this couple trying to figure out which path to take. The guy is bent over kissing their pit bull on the head while the girl is desperately trying to get his attention. It was funny. The girl is absolutely smokin' hot, and the guy is kissing his dog, completely oblivious that she even exists. Why, because to many, there are no creatures hotter than our dogs.

Alright, enough build-up, you get the picture, now I will tell you why. Humans, by most accounts, say they want love and attention, and for the most part, it's true. But I believe that we are far more enthralled with giving love and attention, than getting it. Don't believe me, ever had a girl/boy friend who was super touchy/feely, loving, attention giving, showered you with affection ALL the time. Yeah, me too; makes you F#%*^!G cringe to remember it. We just don't dig that past a certain point. But a dog, now that's different. A dog will take all the love and attention, even a crazy ridiculous amount, and still ask for more. They never say, “whoa, dude, enough already, you’re like stalking me.” And that fact is we simply like to pour love on things. Since people will only put up with so much of that (sane people anyway), we then turn to our canine companions. So bailing on the Big Island was a no-brainer. Think I'm nuts, I've got a buddy from high school, went to Wall Street did really well, built a large dollar life in New York. Recently went through a nasty divorce, wound up offering the ex everything, east side co-op, half of Hamptons house, lot-o-shit! Guess what he wanted in return?