My dog’s critique on the human condition

My dog, Elway, gives his “fly on the wall” observances of human beings – on both a personal and global scale. Here is what he’s found.


by Zoe Butler, Features Editor

Now, this isn’t normal that I’m talking. I’m a dog, and besides my uncannily human eyes and sweet snuggles, my communication with humans (or who I like to call my big people) is minimal. So in the next couple of minutes let’s just pretend like I found my fairy godmother, and for this purpose only I am able to communicate better than I ever have a few things that I have learned about big people in general just from being me, a dog.

One thing I have noticed that is somewhat surprising is how my big people are remotely similar to me. I see the kids come home from school and spend hours on these bright little rectangles before they fall asleep, just to wake up to eat a 20 minute dinner, do hours of homework, then fall asleep at an absurdly late time, further enforcing their need for that nap, continuing the endless cycle of boredom. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like much of that time is wasted. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe I would like those small screens as much as them if I had opposable thumbs.

And again, maybe I don’t know enough to comment on things, like what I hear on the radio during my short car drives to the dog park, but it seems like faults are still occurring past the day to day lives of my big people, and on a global scale. I keep hearing similar words or phrases repeated with the same sorrowful tone: “another shooting,” “poverty,” “ISIS,” “hopeless situation.”

But no matter what I hear on the radio or see my big people do in their day to day lives, there’s still a part of me that knows they are better than this. Maybe I’m just fulfilling the cliche “a dog is a man’s best friend” phrase, but the point of me communicating with you all is not to discredit humanity, but remind you of all the humanity that I continue to see. To remind you that it doesn’t just have to be us dogs that have your back, but you all can do that for each other, too.

There are good things in this life, like when I connect with other dogs, and we get past the awkward sniffing of butts and move into playing or wrestling. Maybe I’m only noticing these things because I have a significantly smaller amount of time on this Earth, but whatever the reason, I see humans have similar responses of happiness when they make those kinds of connections with each other. There are universal needs, no matter the species, and one of them is just that: genuine connection.

You need to know that people are good. And as long as I keep seeing my big people smiling, I’ll believe that there’s hope for everyone else, too.