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Give man’s best friend a bone on National Dog Day

September 16, 2018

William Shakespeare (and a slew of other writers) used the phrase, “Every dog has its day.”

It means that even the lowliest person will someday get a little bit of glory.

But for actual dogs, well, their day is Aug. 26 — National Dog Day.

Why do pooches deserve a day in their honor? They’re great companions. They feel our highs and lows — they celebrate and mourn with us. They share our beds and our snacks. They protect us. They love us unconditionally.

And we love them right back. According to the ASPCA, about 44 percent of U.S. households have a dog.

We have favorite movie dogs, like Beethoven, Benji, Toto, Old Yeller and those 101 Dalmatians.

We love dogs on TV, like Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and the Taco Bell chihuahua.

We love our cartoon dogs, like Snoopy, Scooby Doo, Goofy, Odie and Pluto.

Dogs can do just about anything. They sniff out drugs and track down lost toddlers. They go to war. They herd sheep. They pull sleds. They provide emotional support. They lead the blind.

They even work retail.

The dog has been man’s best friend for thousands of years, so they must be doing something right.

In honor of National Dog Day, here’s a poem from an unknown author that will make you view dogs in a new light. If you don’t love them now, you will when you finish. And grab a tissue before reading — you’re going to need it:

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can get going without pep pills,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,

If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,

If you can face the world without lies and deceit,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics,

Then, my friend you are almost as good as your dog.

May we add: Almost ... but not quite.

And if you don’t have a dog, consider adopting one.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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