Dogs Have Friends Too · 12 December 2008

I never would have believed it, but dogs have friends. Or at least our dog does. I would not have believed that a dog who barked so much could have any friends.

Our dog, Yukiko (for those keeping track, she would be Thing 4 if I was keeping with the anonymity theme), likes to bark. She is a terrier so that is natural. After all, she was bred for barking. And barking. And barking. I always thought that the barking was just noise, but apparently, it is a form of communication.

I just scoffed the first time my wife, the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, said that the dog was talking with the different ways she barks. Then I listened and found that she was right. When Yukiko is in the yard and barks a short high bark, she is stuck on her chain or wants to be with us on the other side of a fence. When she is inside barking with a low growl between the sharp barks, there is somebody on her path behind the house. She has a mad and frustrated bark when birds are flying over her yard. And she has a certain bark when she sees her friends.

Our neighbor faithfully walks her dog at least twice a day. If Yukiko is awake and can see her friend, she will bark. If she is outside and is off her tether, she will go out and greet her friend. If not, she will ask to get let out. Sometimes, there is a whimper in her voice as she asks. Like she has not seen her friend for a long time.

Apparently, the friendship feeling is mutual between the two dogs. Yukiko’s friend will be walking along happily until she gets to our house. Then she sits down and will go no farther. Especially, if Yukiko is outside. Even when our neighbor puts the leash on her dog and starts to drag her, she resists until she gets to see her friend – our dog, Yukiko.

When they do see each other, they greet each other like old friends do. At least like old dog friends. They sniff each other’s noses and say hello. Then they run around each other jumping for joy as if they were long lost friends seeing each other for the first time in years. Even if they just saw each other the day before. After just a few minutes of sniffing and playing and jumping for joy, the two part ways. Our dog usually comes inside and Yukiko’s friend joins our neighbor for the rest of their walk.

Sometimes, I wish that I was a dog. Besides having a job that consists of sleeping and guarding, sometimes with just one eye open, dogs have an incredible capacity to love. Dogs love unconditionally and that is something to be truly admired. They love with their whole beings and are not afraid to show that love. Even if that love is shown by sniffing or jumping for joy at the sight of a loved one. While I doubt that I will be sniffing my friends and loved ones to greet them, I can show my love by being excited and giving them great big bear hugs. I can show them how important they are to me by giving them my full attention. And I can try to love them unconditionally like dogs do.

I have always known that dogs are great friends and companions to people. But I never realized that they could have and be friends with each other. I never realized that they could insist that they be able to spend time together. I may never be as good as a dog, but I hope that someday I can love unconditionally like my dog and be as enthusiastic greeting my friends as my dog. If I ever do get to be as good as a dog, I will try to refrain from sniffing or barking when greeting my friends. I will reserve that for family.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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