For the past year I have been in a creative overdrive photographing dogs and writing about the Boston dog community. I spend my day, head swirling, images, words, ideas, fitting together a dog community puzzle. Both an observer and active part of the dog community since childhood, I have been impacted by may people and ideas. Somehow, after all this time, I have come to recognize a common denominator among people who care for animals; compassion for others.
There is a certain level of compassion that exists in some people, not all people have it. I was told as a child that one day I would understand the most important trait you should look for while making friends is a certain level of compassion.
Many of my friends are dog owners, people who care for animals. The care of dogs, in particular, requires considerable effort, time and money. In return you will rarely find a retrieved bird at your feet or a house particularly well guarded, just a cold nose and warm belly to scratch. Regardless, in a group of dog owners you rarely find those who care more for themselves than those around them.
Harry S. Truman was quoted, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Most of us assumed he meant the dog as a friend. I wish I could ask if he really meant that you would meet other people through your dog with a level of compassion great friendships are built upon?
I often argue to those living in the city, if you want to find good friends, get a dog. In addition to the incredibly rewarding friendship built upon cold noses and warm bellies, one day you may realize you are surrounded by some of the most compassionate people who all care about the same thing – our dogs.