One of the simple delights of having a dog about the house comes every time I pop open a bag of empty carbohydrates. It could be a bag of chips. It could be a bag of cheezy corn puff doodles. But with the first sound of the crinkling plastic, the pup arrives, eager to be at my side.
Ours is a bit of a wan dog, prone to brooding and a tick on the skittish side. She's gentle as can be, and wonderful with the kids, but if she's in one of her moods, she prefers to keep to herself. She doesn't come when called. She doesn't fetch. When she's being particularly distant, I'll accuse her of having feline ancestry.
"Your dad must have been a cat," I'll say, as she wanders off yet again to sit in the sun and gaze wistfully out the window.
But a bag of crunchies brings her eagerly to my side.
It's not a particularly healthy thing, I'll admit. I should only feed her the foods that come in the big industrial sized bags for dogs, as opposed to the big industrial sized bags for humans. What could I be thinking?
As I sit to game for a bit, or read, or blog, it's nice sharing a bite of food with her. I'll pop a low fat potato chip in my mouth, and offer her one.
As I crunch down on the chip, so does she. The taste of salt and fat and starch fills both of our mouths. Both sets of teeth bite, and both tongues turn, and the crunchcrunchcrunch carries satisfyingly through the bones of our heads.
It's the same feeling, at the same moment.
There's something to be said for that. It's a reminder that we are not so far removed from the creatures that surround us. While we'd prefer to forget it, particularly as we factory-farm them, they and we are formed from the same dust.
That's one of the best things about having a dog, I think. That reminder, without anthropomorphizing them, that they and we are not so far distant.
Dogs are good for that.
They're also good for reminding us that with the right attitude, starting a day with a bag of warm excrement can feel like victory.
But that's another post for another time.