In Times Like These It's Good To Remember There've Always Been Times Like These

This headline may be a surprise to the young for whom everything is first-time new. At the same time it should be a reminder to the old of what they should be reminding the young.

Despite the horrific realities of our war-ripped and terror-torn world, that mystic lady we call History has recorded some surprising facts. While tens of millions die in today’s world from crimes, conflicts and diseases, in the past hundreds of millions more succumbed. The levels of everyday brutality then were higher while the ameliorating protections of the law and medicine were so much lower. The lady reminds us just the act of getting up safe in the morning and getting through another day of plagues and banditry was something most of us survived no more than 30 or 40 years.

However, then as well as today we’ve always had our “best friend.” That’s right: our faithful dogs. Although still 98% wolf, the dog has evolved over the centuries into a reliable companion, co-worker, and even counselor. I mean, who else at the end of a bad day is always happy to see you? to love you? to nuzzle his cold nose and warm heart into your wounds?

But now…!

Yep, now our evolutionary scientists couldn’t leave a good thing alone. Recent research reports two disturbing theories: (1) our pets are eating themselves to death (2) our pets are our pets mostly because they need us, not love us. I just hate it when these guys in the white lab coats start messing with my head like this.

* As for pet health, they insist 60% of our pets are overweight. Therefore we’re told stop feeding them those little treats. OK, so obesity risks diabetes. For me too. But damn, why must I deny my pets what makes them happy? On the scale of happy vs healthy, sometimes I want to do the same for them I do for me: Go happy!

* Next, some heartless researchers from the University of London insist, “Dogs have learned the more they respond to human emotions, the more humans reward them.” So now you’re telling me my puppy doesn’t love me for who I am…? only for what I can give him…? I hate you! No, not you little fella, all you erudite dog-hates in London!

As the world turns, it’s wise to learn it’s been turning this way for a very long time. On the other hand, I say some things about this world are better left unlearned.

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