The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.
A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all the other friends desert, he remains.
When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens."
Senator George Vest (1870)
THINGS WE CAN LEARN FROM A DOG
* Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. * Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. * When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. * When it's in your best interest, practice obedience. * Let others know when they've invaded your territory. * Take naps and stretch before rising. * Run, romp and play daily. * Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you've had enough. * Be loyal. * Never pretend to be something you're not. * If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. * When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. * Thrive on attention and let people touch you. * Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. * On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. * On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree. * When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. * No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout ...run right back and make friends. * Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
REIGNING CATS AND DOGS
The Washington Post Saturday, May 2, 1998; Page A16
People around the world own more than 500 million pets, about two-thirds of them dogs and cats. Highly urbanized and wealthy countries have the most cat and dog owners. Most people keep pets for companionship and protection, but recently the therapeutic benefit of pets has been recognized: Studies have shown that pets may speed recovery from illness, reduce stress and promote family bonding.
Estimated number of all pets 1996-97 figures, in millions, in selected countries from Euromonitor survey United States -- 193 Russia -- 59 Britain -- 50.6 France -- 45.4 Italy -- 30.4 Australia -- 29.3 Germany -- 24 Spain -- 19.8 Brazil -- 19.7 Japan -- 19.3
Estimated number of dogs 1996-97 figures, in millions, in selected countries from Euromonitor survey United States -- 52 Russia -- 19 Brazil -- 16 Japan -- 10.3 France -- 7.7 Poland -- 6.7 Britain -- 6.7 Italy -- 5.8 Germany -- 5.2 South Africa -- 4.8
Estimated number of cats 1996-97 figures, in millions, in selected countries from Euromonitor survey United States -- 63 Russia -- 40 France -- 8.1 Japan -- 8.01 Britain -- 7.9 Italy -- 6.6 Germany -- 6.4 Poland -- 5.1 Canada -- 4.6 India -- 3.9
SOURCE: Euromonitor (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company