It has been my privilege, Gentle Reader, to count amongst my friends some dog-owners. And so I have seen first-hand how owning dogs swallow up the lives of young middle-class child-free couples. Dogs give them gravitas, a sense of well-being and responsibility, of dignity and togetherness, as well as an endless source of conversation. You know how parents get such a bad rap for yapping about their kids forever and forever amen? That’s dog-owners about their dogs. No, I am not joking.
And the money they spend! The emotional involvement with dogs! The importance of dogs in their lives! The comparison with children is one made frequently and non-ironically, by dog-owners themselves.
But I am not going to hate on dog-owners, Gentle Reader, for I realised today that owning dogs in this obsessive way performs a useful social function, not just a psychological one. Dog-owning turns your attention to your own affairs, inwards. It absorbs extra energy and cash, to the point where there is not much left to meddle in the affairs of others. When you need to obsess about the small (or large) furry bundle prancing about your legs, you cannot obsess about your neighbour, your friend, your family, world affairs, and so on.
So. If every one owned a dog (or preferably two) with same intensity of the young middle-class North American professional, the world would be a better place. That’s the moral of my post. Be young (ish). Become a middle-class professional. Get a dog. And let sleeping dogs lie.