I came across this article during my morning Drudge troll. It’s a great story about an amazing and courageous military sniffer lab named Sabi. The dog went missing after the Taliban ambushed a joint Australian-Afghan Army patrol back in September of 2008. After missing for 14 months the pup was spotted by a U.S. serviceman, who, upon taking possession of the dog realized she must be military trained. Long story short the dog is now in the care of her Australian handler and is safe.
Here she is
So the story is indeed impressive, and a lot could be said about Sabi’s ability to survive in worn torn Afghanistan for 14 months, when say this guy, Alexander Supertramp couldn’t survive 4 months in a bus outside Nealy, Alaska. But what struck me about her story is how it impacted those around her. Sabi’s will to live and not end up an IED has been a tremendous morale boost for the soldiers.
Sabi’s return has restored something in these soldiers. She is the embodiment of what Churchill meant when he said, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Another example of how an animal can shame the entire human race into rethinking its priorities is the story of Scarlett the cat. This mother had the good sense to do for her kittens what Susan Smith and Andrea Yates failed miserably to do for their children, save them.
So where am I going with? Well volumes have been written on what animals have taught us people about love, perseverance, loyalty, and portion control. Some of the most beloved books and movies made have been about the indescribable relationship animals forge with us. Possibly because they don’t speak and we like a captive audience. More likely, because they never leave us, no matter what we do, and they seek us out no matter how far we go, not at all unlike God.
So this got me thinking, we get a lot of benefit from animals, but what do animals get from us? What do they take away from their relationships with us?
Well I found out. They teach us the deeper meaning of friendship and we teach them how to raise their paw and run in a circle, things they already do without our help.
We also spends countless hours putting together videos of our pets doing silly things so that we can laugh at them, again and again.
We dress them up as fast food.
We let celebrities own them.
And we die them blue.
(disclaimer, this might be photoshopped but that doesn’t invalidate my argument that some idiot somewhere has in fact done this to their dog)
So now where are we? Well animals, although they have been known to eat us from time to time, seem far more capable of effecting meaningful change and inspiring hope in us, then we, who have been known to eat animals, are of inspiring anything in them. I’m not saying people suck, that’s not the point. I am pro-people, I am just saying that animals should probably get use to disappointment. In fact that might even be the better story. What animals have taught us about living with disappointment.