i live in an animal house. i’m not talking metaphorically with the crazy carnal pleasures and wild instincts sort of thing… i mean literally, i live in an animal house. there are dogs all over the place. dazz, corky, tofu and three are my furry companions that remain one of the few things that are consistent in my days. we love dogs. we are dog people. for all who know me, you know my devoted love and borderline obsession with my dog three… i am a dog person. i think.
i truthfully think that animals can have a serious effect on personality – help shape how people interact with others. dogs and cats are, in a sense, a mediator for our behaviour in the broader social world. if you have a dog or a cat, you interact with that creature on a daily basis. they have a personality. our personalities spar with one another every day.
dogs playfully bite and tug and gnaw – for the physical touch and connection, not to inflict pain. they force you to connect with them on a constant basis. they love to be spooned in bed, they love deep rubs and good ole scratches. you can watch their eyes sink ever so slightly behind their gaze as you hit that spot right behind their ears, as they slowly steep into the luxurious warm cup of tea that is your touch. they are focused on the job you give them – whether it’s running as hard as you can after some yellow fuzzy ball and bringing it back in record time, or just relaxing next to you in the afternoon sun while you sip tea and read. dogs wear their hearts on their sleeves and they aren’t afraid to show you how happy they are. they enthusiastically wag their tails to the beat of the excitement in their hearts. over time dogs develop from playmates to true loyal partners. they look at you with loving eyes and genuine concern for your happiness. their concerns are our concerns, their pain is our pain. we have a responsibility to love and care for them the same way they do for us.
i can’t say i know much about cats first hand. i did live with two cats with some room mates in hawaii before i got my own place. we never connected on a deeper level than through hallways passings and the odd afternoon patio session. although there were the times when i would drive them crazy with the reflection from my watch on the wall. i always thought we were having a good time – but get the sneaking suspicion it always ended up they were kind of pissed with me. maybe they felt i was messing with them, not really playing. cats are independent. they need you… but they don’t really need you. they are in their own worlds… mysteriously serenely and gracefully… walking out a path of self indulgence and fulfillment. they enjoy a gentle, subtle touch every once in a while. they take precise care of the presentation of themselves. they aren’t prone to getting themselves dirty like their canine counterparts. they are quiet companions – they leave you to your thoughts – giving you more time to marinate and consider what the relationship is all about, and perhaps the time and space to be comfortable with whatever conclusions you muster up. when they want your attention they come find you and rub love up against you to let you know they are there. over time, a comfortable, beautiful relationship of mutual respect, love and co-existence develops.
and what about the people that don’t have animal companions… perhaps they are closer to their true selves than any of us animal lovers. they have been forced to develop themselves in the real world, with real world people (dog or cat) shaping their existence as they see fit in their lives. they aren’t guided in any way… they don’t have the practice in their homes that dog and cat people have.
i can see how cat people are a little quieter, perhaps more self conscious and independent than dog people. they do always seem beautiful in their physical and exterior presence… while dog people are ever so slightly more raw. cat people keep things close to their hearts until they are ready to share them. dog people for the most part are open books. i can see why dog people are more social, outgoing people, and why they are perhaps better able to wick away negativity and teasings like beads of water on the top of a surfboard. i can see how it sometimes takes a little more energy to break through to a cat person to really experience the richness of their beauty… but when you do get to see it, you really see it in all it’s pristine glory. i think we can have tendencies to both personalities as well… uncontrollably so governed in the fact that genders lend themselves to feline and canine tendencies – women are more like cats and men are more like dogs. generally speaking. no matter what type of person you are there is that internal core of beauty that lies at the center of you. it glows, waiting to blossom through your extremities in the ways it knows how. the hardest thing, sometimes, is finding the types of people who will appreciate the process of how to expose that core, and then surrounding yourself with them.
regardless if you are a cat person or a dog person or just a person person – we can learn from our animal companions.
“all of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.” ~ samuel butler
no matter how you go about life, keep that in mind. otherwise you are on the wrong mission. don’t get caught up in the wrong reasons, and fight the human tendencies to judge, criticize and correct. say what you say because it’s beautiful and meaningful, and life will mirror all that you are putting out. “a bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. it sings because it has a song.” ~ chinese proverb