Honor Among Dogs

Max was my first dog. He loved everyone and had many friends, canine and human. When Max saw someone he knew, he became very excited and howled at them. He also had a great sense of humor and was very curious. Max loved to visit people's houses; if he were human, he would have been a door to door salesman.

Max was also a very large dog. One day when we were out for a walk, we passed a neighbor's dog who was clearly old. As we walked by his yard, the old dog got up, walked slowly to the edge of his territory, and barked at Max as best he could. Much to my surprise, Max made a big show of charging at the dog and barking back at him. I was upset at Max's aggressive posture towards the old dog, and said: "Max! How could you do that? Look how old he is!" As clearly as if he had said it out loud, I heard Max reply: "I'm just making him feel as if he's still young and strong."

Not long after that incident, the old dog died, but I'll always remember how Max let him keep his honor.

Ronnie DiComo is a freelance contributor to Spirit of Change.