Friday, January 05, 2007

Dogs Bring Us Together

A friend recently returned from a family trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It sounds like a truly beautiful place and I'm eagerly awaiting the full rundown of the trip. Being a true friend (and frequent supplier of photo material for my blog), she sent me these great pictures from their journeys.

While I enjoy visiting other cultures to experience the differences from my own, I also enjoy finding the commonalities. And one of these commonalities is the human-dog bond. When I travel to a country where I don't speak the language and don't know my way around, it's comforting for me to see people interacting with their pets in a way that feels familiar to me. It reminds me of how the relationships we humans have formed with our companion dogs are pretty similar across many cultures. (I know some cultures do not embrace dogs as companions, but I can't help believing they're missing out on something extraordinary).

Dog people tend to recognize other dog people. When we encounter a person with a dog, human language is not needed. We immediately start interacting with the dogs and we share knowing and appreciative glances with our human counterparts. It's such a great ice-breaker. Because of dogs, we have met people in France and Germany and Italy whom we would not have met if it weren't for the dogs brokering the initial greeting. We've even continued to correspond with some of them. We met this beautiful Griff, Anni, and her German family in Colmar, France. We've since traded emails and photos of our dogs. What a great connection.

It reinforces for me that we dog-people have a culture of our own that cuts that across other cultures and languages and traditions. I love it. It makes the world a smaller and friendlier place.

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