[email protected] - Man’s best friend

October 2009

There’s an old moralistic story about a social worker who asked one of his colleagues the time. The colleague answered, "I’m sorry I don't know. I don’t have a watch.”
With a profound professional look on his face the social worker replied, “It doesn’t matter, the important thing is that we talked about it.”
If you’re a regular reader of this magazine, then you’ll know that on this particular page I don’t like to be too serious, in fact being serious is about the furthest thing from my mind.
But a short time ago I lost Toby, my closest friend for the last fourteen years, and I need to talk about it for therapeutic reasons.
During the years I worked at Europa Star, Toby shared my office and visitors usually greeted him before addressing me. My bosses, in their infinite wisdom, thought I worked better in the presence of my canine friend and only rebuked me when Toby went walk-about, rolled on the inviting wool pile of their carpets leaving a few tufts of hair on them, or, in his more affectionate moments, rubbed himself lovingly against their trousers to give them the appearance of the Yeti’s legs.


Toby was with me through a few thick and thin moments of my life, he was simply always there, pleased to accompany me, happy to see me. What I have realized since he left me is that the important things I have learned in life don’t come from my academic studies, nor the time I’ve spent in the company of friends, colleagues, lovers, wives and enemies, but the time I’ve spent with Toby, Kopek, Cassie, Mastic, Dimitri, Kari and Scottie – my dogs!
Having tried matrimony long and often enough to enable me to develop a Master’s degree on the subject, I’ve made a fundamental short list of the disparity in the daily attitudes of wife v. dog, which if you are one of those people who believe happiness is a warm puppy you’ll understand:

- The later you come home, the more excited your dog is to see you.

- Your dog doesn’t mind you fondling other dogs.

- Your dog isn’t upset if you call it by another name.

- Your dog loves it when you leave things on the floor.

- Your dog's parents never just drop by for a surprise visit.

- Your dog stays free of charge in most hotels if you pretend to be blind.

- Your dog actually takes notice of you when you raise your voice.

- Your dog never answers back.

- You never have to sit around waiting for your dog, it’s instantly ready to go out.

- Your dog seems to be even more playful and affectionate when you're drunk.

- Your dog doesn’t pester you about needing a face-lift or liposuction.

- Your dog doesn’t go on about your beer belly, in fact it rather enjoys resting its muzzle on it.

- If you bring another dog home, your dog is happy to play with both of you.

- Your dog doesn’t wake you up in the middle of the night and ask, “If I die before you, will you get another dog?”

- If your dog has babies, a small ad in the local paper gets them out of your life forever.

- If you put a studded collar on your dog it doesn’t go around telling its friends that you’re a pervert.

- If your dog smells another dog on you, it doesn't threaten divorce or suicide, it thinks you’re more interesting than usual.

- Your dog doesn’t base it’s lifestyle on people magazines.

- And finally, you have to leave your dog outside major department stores like Harrods and Bloomingdales.

As the late Art Buchwald said, whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.
Well, in the end, you have to laugh don’t you …

Source: Europa Star October-November 2009 Magazine Issue