I've just read a fascinating article on stray dogs in Moscow entitled Smartest Dogs: Moscow Stray Dogs . Apparently a growing number of dogs who have to fend for themselves are developing impressive and effective new ways of "hunting" down their food, courtesy of unwitting humans! They also have picked up the habit of riding the underground - even learning where they need to get off. Perhaps we dull our dogs' brains by providing them with all they need. I'm not suggesting we should no meet out dogs' needs of course, but it demonstrates what an incredible potential they have and proves we should stretch them with training and games as mush as we can.
If you do go to that link (and it really is worth a look) do check out the first video on the page, which shows a dog trying to make hi way down an upward escalator, and clearly not understanding why he is making no progress. When I first saw the dogs on the escalators I had visions of paws getting trapped and injured, but I think these dogs are way too street savvy to let that happen. It's a funny subject because at first I was just impressed by why the strays could do, but on reflection I begin to think how sad it is that they have no human partner to keep them from such potential danger. So are we wonderful guardians to our dogs or do we thwart them realising their full potential? - you could argue either case.
Talking of wonderful dog guardians brings me to Paul O'Grady, a British comedian, who used to perform as Lily Savage, and now has his own chat show on Channel 4 in the UK. Paul regularly promotes rescue dogs on the show, and is constantly accopanied on screen by one of his dogs. Buster, a Bichon Frise cross Shih Tzu was his main companion, and unwittingly caused much uproar amongst the audience with a well timed swing of hit butt straight into Paul's face as he strolled across his desk. He had such a sweet, serious looking face, which only added to his comic effect. Sadly Buster died last week, and Paul is mourning the loss of his beloved dog, hopefully surrounded by his other animals.
A dog is definitely not for Christmas, but it's not really for life either; not a whole human life anyway, and that's the saddest part. Maybe those strays on the subway have got it right, they live free and leave no broken heart behind them when they die. Or just maybe a pet dog's life is better, for when it's their time to leave us, they live on with us, forever in our hearts.