Last weekend I read two New York Times stories about the relationships between people and their dogs. I (this is Laura) do not have a dog yet, but I was both touched and entertained by these glances into the world of dog ownership.
The first story, “Dogs’ Life (and Death) Is a Poignant Tale” celebrates the lives of Harry and Bix, two “virtual centenarians” who lived in the same building on the Upper West Side in New York City. The second, a personal essay titled “The Dog Who Hates Me,” is a humorous account of a father finally agreeing to adopt a dog–a Yorkshire terrier–that ends up, well, hating him. Both stories capture how dogs can become part of and contribute to a community, both immediate family and the neighborhood, whether that is a residential block or a 84-unit condo building.
These articles reminded me of a Seinfeld episode when Jerry is on a plane and by chance (of course) he is asked to take care of Farfel, the dog belonging to his seat partner who suffers from a medical problem. Jerry unenthusiastically agrees to take Farfel home and chaos ensues – chewing shoes, barking, etc. – as Jerry is not equipped to have a dog. Elaine and George visit, surprised to find Jerry in a tug-o-war battle with Farfel, and after a long attempt to convince Jerry to attend an event with them, he declines, blaming it on Farfel. Jerry ends the scene talking to Farfel and his closing line highlights one perspective of the human-dog relationship:
Jerry: Well, thank you very much. I’m telling you, one more day stinkbreath!
On my block, a lot of people walk their dogs, and I always see them walking along with their little poop bags, which to me is just the lowest function of human life. If aliens are watching this through telescopes, they’re gonna think the dogs are the leaders. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume was in charge?
If your interested, you can read the entire scene here, along with several other episodes. Please note that the dog above is not from the episode. It is the original Farfel the Dog who was a brown hound dog puppet featured on Nestle’s commercials from 1953 to 1965.
Enjoy and feel free to share your stories and thoughts with us too!
Dog Photographer – Nashville, TN
Adrian Hitt Photography