Let’s take a break from tilting at corporate windmills and allow me to share a new, fascinating insight with you folks.
For about a year and a half now, I’ve been spending a few hours a day in Benny’s company. (For newcomers, Benny is a dog, a Jack Russell Terrier.)
I’ve never spent that much time with a dog before. Though I loved the late, much-lamented Gryphon -- the hunka-hunka-burnin’-love Rottweiler -- we didn’t get to spend a lot of time together. For most of his life I was working six or seven days a week. Usually one of the boys walked him and we probably only spent an hour or two a week, one-on-one.
I was more used to spending time with cats. Except for the last few years, I’ve had one or two around for most of my life. While home, there was nearly always one near, sleeping on my lap, rubbing against my ankle, or, in the case of Jean-Claude Kitty, gnawing on my wrist while trying to disembowel my arm. (He had anger issues. Plus he was insane - a challenging combo.)
Now, anybody who spends much time with anything is going to improve his understanding of it. Just stands to reason. So, you can imagine that a highly trained, keenly observant, Professional Writer-type person doing so, would overflow with knowledge in no time.
And thus it has been. From studying Ben, and observing the behaviour of the many other dogs we come into contact with on our walks - I have learned a great deal about canines, including one Stunning Truth:
They’re just like guys.
There’s a corollary to this Stunning Truth too:
Women are just like cats.
Like guys, dogs are without guile. If they see something they want, like a trespassing squirrel or a piece of cheese, they try to get it. If they can’t get it, they’ll bark and/or whine for someone to get it for them. They will stare fixedly at the object of their desire. There is no mistaking their intent.
Like when guys see a Corvette convertible or a Kate Winslet look-a-like.
Whatever it is cats have on their minds, they will stare at you, meow, and expect you to figure out what they want. Like women, the hints they drop are obscure.
Let’s say a woman isn’t feeling tip-top. She’ll emit a small sigh, fully expecting a guy to notice and follow up on it - even if a game’s on. Similarly, an indisposed kitty will slip quietly into a closet when no one’s around and barf into a shoe. A dog however, will barf wherever he happens to be when the barfy feeling comes and a guy will make sure that everyone within bellowing range knows he’s coming down with something.
Like guys, dogs are fascinated with their own, and others’ naughty bits. They just use different organs to express this fascination - mostly.
It’s perfectly fine for dogs to shove their noses into another dog’s crotch. Men probably enjoyed doing that with women too, way back when. But we gradually became more civilized when women started whacking us on the nose with a rolled-up stone tablet. Naturally, this led to a loss of sense of smell and we were forced to content ourselves with ogling.
Now, consider the concept of guilt. When a dog does something wrong, one glance at his face is all it takes to know there’s a shredded hat somewhere. Likewise, women can look at a man and somehow ascertain that he’s had four beers, half a pizza and a bag of Cheezits when supper’s right around the corner.
Cats and women don’t have a guilty look because they never do anything wrong.
Of course there are some, few similarities between the sexes and between canines and felines. For instance, we all love being petted. But even within this shared sphere of interest, there are stark differences.
Rub a dog’s (or a guy’s) head and then his flank in quick succession and before you can say, “Spot’s your uncle,” he’ll be on his back, offering his belly for some of that action.
Just try to go for a cat’s, or a you-know-who’s belly, without 15 minutes of stroking neck, head, ears and back.
They’ll pull a Jean-Claude Kitty on you in half a heartbeat.