Why I Love Dogs – They Forgive

warning: this post contains a discussion of dog butts… and cute pictures of dogs.


We already have a lot of experience with the forgiving spirit of dogs as a result of our work as a foster home for the National Brussels Griffon Rescue, but today I was reminded of just how awesome pups are.

Oscar. aka: The Stone Cold Nuts

Oscar. aka: The Stone Cold Nuts

Oscar, our first pooch, now 9 years old, has had some anal gland issues over the past few years.   In an effort to keep these issues from getting to the point of infection, abscess, and severe pain, we’ve been taking him into the vet every few months to get his anal glands preventatively evacuated.

So I bring him to the vet, and Oscar knows it’s gonna suck.  The vet sticks a finger in Oscar’s butt and squeezes out his anal glands.  Oscar does not like it.   He doesn’t squeal in pain, but it’s clearly uncomfortable.

“Kid Dynamite, seriously -what’s with the TMI?  We don’t want to hear about your dog’s anal gland expression.”

Well I won’t tell you the food analogy that the vet gave me to describe the secretions (SPOILER ALERT: YES I WILL: “it’s like pudding or mashed potatoes, which is good,”  he told me, as opposed to the thicker pastier gunk last time), what I want to talk about is what happens after the vet is done assaulting Oscar’s anus.


Instant and unconditional forgiveness from Oscar, which makes me smile and amazes me.

After spraying off Oscar’s butt with diluted Listerine (no joke), the vet puts him on the ground and goes to write up some notes.

Oscar walks right over to him, wagging his tail, not at all afraid, and, in the cutest way possible basically says “fuck you, pay me.”

But he doesn’t mean it maliciously like the Goodfellas clip, it’s more like the “Hey Lama, how about a little something for the effort,” line from Caddyshack – Oscar knows that he put up with the pain and that he deserves a reward.  He also knows that the vet will give him one.

Skeptics might counter, “Hey KD, you just nullified your own point by proving that your dog is a whore for treats, not that it’s about love or forgiveness or human emotions.”   Well, kinda, but my point is that Oscar doesn’t hold a grudge.   Look, I have been fortunate enough not to have had to endure any painful medical procedures – especially ones that are repeated with regular frequency – in my life.   If I had, though, I couldn’t see myself going out for beers afterward with the doctor who inflicted the pain on me – and I, a sentient human, can even understand that the doctor is trying to help me!  Oscar doesn’t know that the vet is trying to help avoid the disastrous pain of an abscessed anal gland that Oscar has had do endure multiple times previously – but he still doesn’t hold a grudge.

That’s why dogs are so friggin’ awesome.

Mr. Griffey, on the other hand, isn’t so forgiving:  despite being borderline-illegally cute, Griffey will bark at you for 6 months if you so much as look at him the wrong way when you come over to our house (I should clarify: he is good at the vet!).  You think you can win him over with a treat?  Good luck – he KNOWS it’s a trap, even though it’s not a trap – he won’t come within 6 feet of you once you’ve wronged him with a glance that wasn’t carefully considered….    His cuteness will make you keep trying to get back on his good side, though:

Griffey on Halloween.  Game over.

Griffey on Halloween. Game over.




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