People should be more like dogs

All my life, I’ve loved my dog friends. From “Tiny” to “Buster,” from “Princess” to “Amber.” And “George.”
My dog friends have been wonderful companions, making my life full and fun.
The dogs of my childhood were “Tiny” and “Buster.” “Tiny” was a large purebred German Shepherd who was my twin. And my first candid photo was one of “Tiny” and me by the back porch at age six months–a huge dog and a tiny girl.
“Buster,” on the other hand, was my brother Jim’s special childhood friend.
“Princess,” a loving, sweet-natured Cocker Spaniel, came into my life much later–when my own children were growing up. Of course, “Princess” was the children’s pet but as a young adult, I felt so welcomed every time I came home.
What a great friend “Princess” was to me!
But my best friend of all was “Amber.” A mixed breed medium-sized dog we adopted from Caring Hands Humane Society, Amber was one of a kind. She loved people and people loved her. Never pushy, just friendly.
“Amber” and I often burned the midnight oil together. I at my computer; Amber at my feet.
But sadly, “Amber” died a month ago after a two-week illness. She was 10 years old, leaving “George” as an only child.
“George” misses his buddy badly. He is much more quiet and sober as he lies in Amber’s bed near the television. Some of the playfulness of his exuberant personality is gone.
But gradually, our sweet “George” seems to be enjoying all the attention he gets as an “only dog.” And we are enjoying him!
What is it that makes dogs such excellent companions for humans anyway? Let’s just think about their attributes.
In the first place, your dog friends always are delighted to see you–any time or any place. They make you feel so good. And they smile with their tails as they greet you.
They focus on you completely anytime you enter a room. You are the most important person there. Who else treats you like that?
As friends, dogs are very even-tempered. They’re never moody. They never hold a grudge. They easily let go of the past.
Dogs are always ready to play and will never bore you. They are funny and entertaining. They bring you joy.
One more thing (and this is important), dogs will never become ageist. They don’t care if you are nine or 90. They will love you just as you are.
As an extra bonus, if there is any hint of danger in your world, your friend will speak his or her mind by barking and stay at alert. Dog friends are ready to protect you with their lives.
How can you find a better friend than that?
So as I see it, if you want a wonderful friend, you have two options. Either choose a dog or a person who embodies the characteristics of a dog.
You can’t go wrong with either option!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at