Wasabi and I were taking one of our twice-a-day walks, discussing the wonderful agility of a squirrel that was scampering above us.
Suddenly, I noticed a fellow walker and, embarrassed to be caught chatting with my dog, said we were just having a little discussion, heh-heh.
She smiled and kept walking. I don’t think she fully embraced the friendship between me and Wasabi.
He is my best friend, especially since moving to the fishing village of McClellanville and away from the golfing village of North Myrtle Beach.
Unlike most everyone here, I don’t fish. I tried it once, didn’t catch anything and never tried it again. Other than Ripley’s Aquarium, the closest I’ve been to a fish was the big-screen showing of “Jaws” – and that fish was fake.
My golf buddies, aka the Grand Strand Swingers, are friends, but we don’t see each other enough to be “best friends.” So, hello, Wasabi.
Having a dog as a best friend is certainly not unheard of.
I think it was Harry Truman who said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
Charles de Gaulle, the former president of France, said, “The more I get to know people, the more I find myself loving dogs.”
And I think Andy Rooney spoke for every dog lover in the world when he said: “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”
Another dog lover, the late Leona Helmsley, a wealthy and otherwise unlikeable real estate mogul, reportedly left $8 billion to the welfare of dogs and $12 million specifically to her Maltese, Trouble. Her grandchildren got much less.
People like Helmsley have had psychologists scratching their heads, trying to figure out the intense love between humans and their dogs – is it pathological or actual affection?
Joel Gavrielle-Gold, author of “When Pets Come Between Partners,” said,”There are whole segments of the population that prefer being in the company of dogs than people, and I’m not sure that’s such a negative thing.”
Why the preference for dogs over people? Gavrielle-Gold sounds a bit like de Gaulle:
“Humans tend to be disappointing – notice our divorce rate. Dogs are not hurtful and humans are. People are inconsistent and dogs are fairly consistent.”
Other psychologists say that unlike people, dogs are non-judgmental and have no hidden motives. What you see is what you get – consistent, unconditional love.
None of this is to say one cannot get carried away. Witness the slightly wacky Helmsley or a certain woman in England.
In frequent emails to her friend she spoke so often about her “significant other” that her friend could not wait to meet him.
Yes, friends, he turned out to be a beagle. So it goes in the world of dog lovers.
Contact Bob Bestler at firstname.lastname@example.org.