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Dogs

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Submitted By saahie
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No animal even remotely compares in import to the dog here at Cold Antler Farm. Dogs get the lion’s share of attention, love, and care. They live in the house with me. They share my bed and furniture. They get the best medical attention, food, and effort I can afford. Dogs are not livestock to me. They are not children, siblings, or any other simulacrum of human interaction. They are my dogs. That is enough.

I am a dog person. When I say that, I do not mean that as a subculture identifier. I do not spend my evenings in paw-print embroidered sweatshirts scouring Petfinder.com to foster homeless canines or sifting through breed-specific email lists. Dogs are not my hobby, occupation, or entertainment. When I say “I am a dog person,” I mean that my personhood is intensely connected to, and made better through, my life with dogs.

They are my partners in living in this world. And I don’t mean “partners” as a replacement for a human spouse or family, not at all. I mean partners in the most basic way possible. They are my wingmen, staff, and teammates. We exist in a primal partnership that has sung the same long howl since before any human beings had surnames or used complex tools. We ran beside each other long before memory-foam dog beds and Nylabones. This partnership is ancient and ceremonial. It is the combination of two amazing stories, shared over meat and firelight. It is our legacy and privilege to share our lives with another beast so in tune and useful to us.

Dogs chose us. Unlike cats, horses, or other domestic animals, they became a part of our lives by their own volition. They didn’t do it because of some cosmic wanderlust to serve man, but because we kept some mighty tasty scrap piles at the edge of our camp. So they became comfortable with our campfires and voices, and over the centuries have co-habitated with man in a pact of mutual benefit and...

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