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The Best Friend Secret

Dear Pet Column,

I have a confession. My best friend is a dog. I know the old saying: “Dog is man’s best friend” (applying the proper gender-free nomenclature, I will edit to “person’s best friend”) should not be taken literally but I genuinely feel it is true for me, although I won’t admit it to my people friends. Is this normal?

Sincerely, Secretly Sharing

Thank you for sharing your secret and trust me in that you are not alone in your pooch pal preferences. Canines have been considered the best friend to people for many years. The earliest written record of this claim being made was by Frederick, King of Prussia (1740-1786) who referred to one of his Italian Greyhounds as his best friend. He received less criticism for this than you would expect for that day and age.

In fact it was not but a few years later that Voltaire wrote into history: “It seems that nature has given the dog to man for his defense and for his pleasure. Of all the animals it is the most faithful, it is the best friend man can have.” And clearly, despite the truth to his wisdom, we can blame Voltaire and the sexist 1700’s for creating a popular axiom that is gender-biased.

There are many theories as to why the person-canine bond has become thick as thieves over the millennia (there is evidence that this bond is more than a hundred thousand years old), one being that wolves are responsible for our survival in that they actually taught us to hunt and live collectively and interdependently. Prior to our bonding with wolves our species was much more independent and individualistic like chimpanzees and other primates.

In Play Together, Stay Together, Karen London and Patricia McConnell introduce an interesting perspective in that “the type of play we engage in with our dogs is relatively rare in the world of animal behavior…the fact that dogs and humans stay playful as adults is uncommon, and is a significant part of the relationship we share. To some degree, play isn’t what makes our relationship with each other better, play is what creates the relationship in the first place.” 

So, maybe the real reason dogs are sacred to hominoids (and thus dog rescue a viable path toward enlightenment) is because it’s a path where play is not only encouraged but rewarded. Speaking of reward and paths of enlightenment…have I mentioned yet that I am available for adoption here at Second Chance Humane Society? 

My name is Pip, a fun, athletic, lovely-natured, people-loving girl. Unfortunately because I am a bull-mix dog I am being overlooked by adopters even though I am a very well behaved and love to hike, ski, bike, play with other dogs, ride in the car, meet new people, play in water and make people smile. My tail is often quite busy moving from side to side. I am also a skilled cuddler, as I love to give and receive love.

If you feel that you and I would make the best of friends call for an appointment to meet me today…I would make the best best-friend ever!

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for 27 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. View our shelter pets and services online:

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet or to learn about adopting a homeless pet and the SCHS spay/neuter, volunteer, feral cat or other programs. View our shelter pets and services at

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