The case against dogs

They say dogs are man's best friend. I wonder who came up with that? A dog, of course.

And why wouldn't they be, considering all we do for them. In fact, let's build two lists. First, what Man does for Dog. Then what Dog does for Man. Ready? Hold onto your leashes; it's going to be a sobering journey.


1. We feed them.

2. We shelter them.

3. We pick up their poop.

4. We take them for long walks at 5 in the morning in all kinds of weather.

5. We play catch with their saliva-soaked, ratty tennis balls.

6. We give them heart-attack-inducing baths.

7. We pay for their exorbitant, designer haircuts.

8. We give up our retirement savings and our kids' college educations to pay "the vet."

9. We give them a comfy bed, usually our own.

10. We pick up the tab for their luxury vacations (commonly referred to as long-term boarding).

11. Or - worse yet - we take them on our vacations and therefore don't have a vacation at all.

12. We brush their teeth.

13. We pet them absentmindedly.

14. We hug them endlessly.

15. We cuddle them obnoxiously.

OK. I think that about covers it. But I do reserve the right to add to the list. There must be dozens of things I forgot.

Now, ready? Here's what Dog does for Man.


1. They love us unconditionally.

That's it, people! Tally the score. Man 15, Dog 1. Just one thing they do for us. Yeah, just one thing. So irritating! Really unfair.

Hmm. I have to admit, though, it is a good one. OK, OK. I guess Dog does more for Man than Man does for Dog. Darn! Unconditional love to the rescue.

But you have to admit, it was really, really close. And when I remember all the things I forgot that Man does for Dog, unconditional love won't have a chance.

- Bill Barre of Hinsdale is a contributing columnist. Readers can email him at [email protected].