Imagine what it would be like visiting Earth for the first time. You’re an outsider from another planet, taking in your new surroundings, when suddenly a girl with a dog crosses your path. The adorable four-legged creature is pulling her by a rope, forcing her to stop when it wants to stop, essentially treating her like a slave. She gives it water when it’s thirsty; she picks it up and carries it when it’s tired. You’re still processing this scene when you decide to turn on the radio, hoping to learn more about this strange place you’ve landed, but you end up discovering a Beyoncé song instead. Naturally you love it, but when Queen B demands to know “Who run the world!?” and the response is a resounding “GIRLS!” you can’t help but laugh. You may not know a lot about Earth yet, but you just watched a girl bend over and pick up her dog’s feces and then carry them in a bag – clearly, canines are the ones running the show!
Not going to lie, the hypothetical situation described above certainly plays a large factor in my desperate desire to be a dog, but it’s only just the tip of the iceberg! In my opinion, a dog’s innate perks are endless and make living life as human seem entirely unappealing by comparison.
First of all, dogs get away with everything. They can even hump strangers without consequence! Not only have they been blessed with the enviable ability to lick their own balls, but they can do it in public and nobody gives it a second thought! Think you’re good at getting away with lewd behavior, too? Well then I challenge you to, next time you’re at a party, pull down your pants and pee on the floor in front of everyone. As a dog, you’d be forgiven after flashing a fake smile and giving your ass a little shake. It wouldn’t be five minutes before someone was petting your head and handing you a snack! As a person? I’m sorry, but you’re lucky if they throw you out of there without calling the cops.
Furthermore, I can’t help but believe my self-esteem would be higher were I a pooch. Take intelligence, for example. In order to be considered an intelligent human being, we usually have to endure a grueling sixteen years of schooling, and sometimes even that isn’t enough to convince people we’re not a total imbecile. A dog, on the other hand, doesn’t need to earn a diploma or accrue thousands of dollars in student loans for someone to consider it a gifted intellectual. If a dog gets hungry and pushes its empty food bowl across the floor, a typical pet-owner will exclaim, “Ohmygosh, Buster is so smart! Look at him! Look at him telling me he’s hungry! He’s such a good little communicator!” The dog is essentially complimented for complaining about its lack of food and then rewarded for it! Appetite appeased and confidence bolstered! This is just speculation, but I’m pretty sure if I were to grumble and push an empty plate toward my roommate, he wouldn’t call me an “intelligent communicator” so much as he would tell me to go make my own damn macaroni and cheese.
If you’re still unconvinced at this point that being a dog would be awesome, allow me to highlight the obvious fact that dogs don’t have to wear pants. Ever. And if a pants-less existence isn’t living the dream my dear friends, then I don’t know what is!
As I much as I feel I shouldn’t have to elaborate past the no-pants thing (I mean, case closed, right?) I’ll go ahead and offer one last reason I wish I were a dog. The truth of the matter is that I’m pretty jealous of their capacity for unadulterated love and happiness; a trait I’m not sure we humans have in us. You can browse through essays written on this very website, for instance, and read about the heartbreak, loneliness, rejection, and losses we suffer as human beings. The words serve as a reminder that we remain burdened by these cruelties as long as we remember them. Sure, we invented the mantra ‘forgive and forget’ but how often do we actually practice what we preach?
I’m aware dogs undergo hardships too, don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen Sarah McLachlan’s SPCA ads and cried just like you have. I know dogs suffer abuses and deal with abandonment all the time, but they don’t remain weighed down by misfortune like we do. Because the second you do the littlest thing for them – throw a ball, take them on a drive and let them stick their head out the window, scratch them under the ear – all that bad stuff just melts away and all they’re left with is love and happiness. Impossible, unparalleled levels of love and happiness! Like, having sex on ecstasy while watching the fireworks at Disneyland then eating a plate of nachos kind of love and happiness! And that’s the most enviable thing in the world, isn’t it?
I know it’s unlikely I’ll be magically transformed into a dog anytime soon, so I suppose I’ll settle with trying to learn from them. I’ll attempt to curb my fantasy and instead try to figure out a way to let go of some baggage and take solace in the small stuff, like walks in the park followed by a long nap in the sun. I guess I’ll survive without four legs and a tail, as long as I’m able to garner a little of a dog’s faith in humanity at the end of the day. Although, I wouldn’t mind a little pat on the head every once and a while either.