Dogs Bring Out The Best In Us

Dr. John Kaya
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Wednesday - December 14, 2011
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One of the perks about being a veterinarian is that people always share interesting stories about their pets. Even strangers I’ve just met enter into 10-minute monologues as I smile and enjoy their wacky tales. One story in particular reminded me of why the term “man’s best friend” came to be. Allow me to share it with you.

I was attending a veterinary conference on the Mainland and had some free time to visit with a childhood friend for happy hour and pupus. Wade and I reminisced about our hanabata days. After catching up on the latest happenings with family and work, I decided to breach the subject of relationships.

“So Wade, how’s bachelor life?” I asked.

“Good, good ... I’ve been seeing this girl for over six months now.”

“Wait, six months? I thought you were dating for a couple of years?”

“I broke up with that girlfriend a while ago. Now I’m seeing Cindy. She’s cool. I really like her,” admitted Wade.

“So is she THE ONE,” I halfheartedly joked.

“Maybe, but I think I have some commitment issues. I mean, she’s awesome, but when she starts to talk about the future well ... I don’t know ... you know?”

Being happily married for more than 13 years, I vaguely remember what Wade was hinting at. Bachelorhood may have been a free-spirited time, but I prefer “married with kids” any day. I decided to shift gears and asked about his dog Baxter.

“Baxter’s great. The company I work for is animal friendly, so I bring him to work with me every day. You remember how I called you about his fractured leg? Thousands of dollars later and he’s as good as new. He did develop some skin allergies, though. Diagnosing that condition was a pretty penny too. The veterinarian did some allergy testing and put Baxter on a special diet. Oh, and I have to give him allergy shots every week.”

“Wow, you’re definitely a dedicated owner. I have patients that suffer from allergies, and it’s a lot of time and effort to keep them comfortable.” I replied.

“Yeah, well, he’s worth it. He’s my bud. I bought an SUV for him because my other car was too small. Baxter loves sitting in the back and looking out the window. Did I mention that I also moved to a bigger house for him? I don’t mind living in a small condo, but I think he likes the space. Baxter has a nice big yard to run around in. He seems happy.”

“So do you,” I replied.

I couldn’t help but notice how animated Wade was while he recanted his adventures with Baxter. Baxter was definitely his buddy. Earlier Wade mentioned commitment issues as if it were a character flaw. As I listened to his stories, there was no doubting his responsibility to his canine companion. In my opinion, he clearly had no problems with commitment. “Man’s best friend” strikes again.

I guess the wild side has a way of taming the beast in all of us.

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