Dogs, loyalty and trust

Happy October, readers! Thanks again for checking out the blog and my recent focus on dogs. Here’s the previous entry if you missed it.

Arguably, the top trait dogs are known for is their loyalty. Always by our side, always ready when beckoned. As dogs get trained, the loyalty is most visible. They learn that when they perform a certain task, a tasty reward will be waiting!

Here’s a short poem that talks about our role in that loyalty…”Biscuit” by Jane Kenyon:


Got a snack for me?

The dog has cleaned his bowl

and his reward is a biscuit,

which I put in his mouth

like a priest offering the host.


I can’t bear that trusting face!

He asks for bread, expects

bread, and I in my power

might have given him a stone.


Now, I know none of us would actually do this, but it’s a brief “what if” scenario that uses an exaggeration to emphasize how profound the trust in us can be, by our dog. I mean, not just giving the dog anything different than bread…but a stone! And there are other catchy style elements, starting with the simile use in the 4th line to make the relationship between owner and dog seem holy, as well as the way “expects” is the last word in line six…making us “wait” until the next line to see what we are expecting. I personally think that the dog’s obedience makes the speaker think about his/her own honesty, in general!

So, what is a favorite treat YOUR dog has come to expect, and how does your dog earn it?

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