Imperfections are what makes man’s best friend absolutely perfect


Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dogs. People all over America and even the world can relate to that word. Why? Because an overwhelming majority of the earth’s population owns at least one. Whether it’s a schnauzer, pit bull, great dane, tea cup chihuahua, shih tzu, chocolate Lab, or even a Chinese crested — everyone seems to have some sort of dog that they are absolutely attached to like white on rice.

For me, it happens to be my English mastiff, Duke.

Duke is one of four dogs that I own. He also happens to be largest, cutest, ugliest, kindest, and the slowest — on more than one level. I love Duke with all my might, and he is by far my favorite dog. He lumbers about the yard like an oversized puppy, has tree sap molded into his fur, is missing a toe on one of his back feet, and has foot long lengths of drool just hangin’ out by his mouth year round. He has big droopy eyes, and a sad droopy face — we should have named him Droopy. Duke even has clydesdale feet, oversized and plodding.

Some of these traits would repel any normal person, and send them running in the opposite direction. But to me, these are the characteristics that make me love him even more. He’s not perfectly groomed and manicured, or particularly good at anything other than bowling you over and stepping on your toes for excruciatingly long milliseconds. To me, this is exactly why he’s perfect.

It’s sometimes weird and hard to understand how someone can love their dog, especially when it’s atrociously hideous. I sometimes see dogs locked in cars in the parking lot, viciously attacking the windows. Sometimes they are adorable, and everyone takes turns fawning and cooing over them. Other times they exclaim, “Dear god, what is that thing?” as they skitter past with fearful glances over their shoulders. This is always fun to watch.

As for me, I prefer both little dogs, and oversized dogs. I love the hold-ability of tiny dogs, and the fact that they are adorable by default. I love hulking and enormous dogs due to their bear-like cuteness and puppy-like attitude that never seems to fade with age.

But the one type of dog that I cannot stand for some reason unknown to man, is the all-American, family friendly, Purina Dog Chow commercial, medium-sized dog. I hate the ideal and classic black Lab with a passion, along with flowing golden retrievers, and the resolute and jaunty German shepherds. I think they are so basic, and so ugly.

My problem isn’t with their attitudes, because I’m sure that once I patted their head, I might even like them. But I hate the fact that television advertising always portrays them as the ideal dogs that everyone loves and wants to buy the most expensive brand of dog food for. I have never been able to warm up to a medium-sized dog, because I have yet to meet one with a likeable personality or cute attribute. I honestly hope this attitude is one day changed or contradicted, because I don’t take pride in my prejudice against them — it’s just there.

Now, despite my dislike for certain breeds of dog, I can completely understand why people love their dog. It’s not what’s on the outside, right? People grow and change with their dogs, we take them to the vet, we show them off to our friends, and we clean up their steaming piles on the lawn, and in the current weather, use an ice pick and a sharp bladed shovel to do so. And these are the reasons that despite their sometimes breath-takingly ugly appearance, we love them, and in return receive their unrequited love for us. It’s just as they say, “the good comes with the bad.” I love my canine friend and all his faults, how about you?

This column is the opinion of Sophia Taeschner, a sophomore at Skyview High School.

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