Friday morning, on NBC’s TODAY show, Meredith Vieira interviewed a man who had risked his life to rescue a dog trapped in a Utah canyon. When she asked him, in essence, had he considered that he was risking his own life to save a dog’s life, he replied …..”it was never a question”. A shift has occurred and I don’t think its been fully acknowledged. If this shift has not yet occurred for all of us, it has certainly occurred for many of us. Dogs have reached the status of being part of the Family of Man.
I suggest that Zak Anderegg, the rescuer, responded with a gut reaction – a dog in trouble; one of our kind; rescue it! Now, I’m certainly not putting forth a genetic argument of inclusion. But the qualities we love most about dogs – unconditional love, loyalty, empathy, curiousity and forgiveness – are the qualities to which we humans aspire.
Some people might argue that the social rules of dogs aren’t at the level of human interaction using this as an argument for exclusion from our family. But then, social rules vary quite a lot in the human species. Abundant examples of less than exemplary human behavior abound.
If you need further evidence for dogs’ inclusion in the family of man, than it would be this. Dogs remain in the present moment without benefit of meditation or spiritual guide books. They are present and grateful for the gifts at hand. They enjoy the party of life. And often, dogs lead us to that party, in helping us find that joy.
Please give me no arguments on cognitive capacity or limbic brain processing. I know what I know. Dogs deserve to be counted in the roll call of family, micro or macro. I count these dogs as family members, both past and present – Coco, Pepper, Max, Cicero and Jez – I love you forever and for always.
Life is fine,