Huw Le Lytle’s
Bedlington Steps to Respectability, Usefulness and Happiness
The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that chidren produce adults. Peter DeVries, Novelist, 1954
The value of dogs is not that humans acquire dogs, but that dogs produce humanness.
Huw Le Lytle, The Cutest, 2017
There was a famous American socialite, Lady Randolph Churchill, who once said of marriage, “He has a future and I have a past so we should be all right.” I think this is much like being a rescue dog and looking for that special human. One needs a human who can offer you a future. And every dog comes with a past.
Accepting an invitation into a human’s home should not be a heedless matter. It is a union that should not be entered into lightly. It should be given due and careful consideration. After all, entering into cohabitation with a human is a matter of vital importance. For one desires a match decreed by destiny, a marriage made in heaven, not a purchase made in a spending jamboree.
Every dog has a past. And so, whether a human is buying a puppy or adopting a senior, they should make it their business to meet their dog. And that means meeting mum and dad, not buying from a shop window. Or talking to the shelter staff, not just picking out a photo. This most honourable of unions is not one to be marked by haste or fashion.
And indeed it is the most honourable of unions. It is not good that humans should be alone. And so there were dogs, who came in from the cold and domesticated humans. The dog and human relationship is important not only to the family but also to human society. Because of dogs, humans are infinitely better. Dogs compel humans to mind their temper, respect routine, and connect with other humans. Dogs help humans deliver the goods of happiness. Dogs offer humans love to which to retreat from the worst of days, wise counsel for humans who are tested by the demands of modern living, a confidential ear to listen to humans as they unload the squabbles and fuss of a trying day, making humans strong again to face another day. There is nothing more comforting for a dog’s human, than to return home to the warm refuge of their dog’s love. It is truly the mark of a civilised world, where the dog is held in the esteem it is due.
And forging a union with a human is a most momentous event in a dog’s life. All at once, a dog’s circumstances, their routine, their time, their future, changes completely. And all at once, a human’s circumstances, their routine, their time, and their now glorious future, changes all for the better. It is of utmost importance that the human understands that any union is based on compromise, that each may have habits that are inexplicable to the other. But in any union of two sentient, thoughtful, intelligent individuals, there will be consequences. The important thing is to make sure these consequences are wonderful.
And so the decision should be a thoughtful one. A dog is not for a day, or a summer, or a year. A dog is for life. Puppies grow up, lucky dogs get old. A human’s solemn duty is to make sure that their dog is happy not just while it is a novelty, but for always.
Happiness goes a long way to everything. Indeed, much of the happiness a human will see in their happy dog, will be their own.