RE-VIEW, with The DEX columnist Matt Murphy
HOW good are dogs. Notice that was a statement of fact rather than a debatable question. So I'm stating the obvious now and admitting I'm a dog person and not a cat person. Of course you can be both, but most people pick a side. It's been said - most likely by a cat person - that dogs are slapstick while cats are sarcasm. This infers a certain intellectual superiority of cats over dogs and more importantly, cat owners over dog owners. This is simply untrue. Or not true. I forget which one it is. But this, of course, is a small measure of what each animal brings to the table. It's all about what each individual needs from the relationship with a pet.
The argument is easy for me. For example, if we have accomplished anything more splendid in our existence on this earth than Guide Dogs then I haven't seen it.
Or have I? No, I haven't, but the crazy Maremma Sheepdog named "Oddball" that helps ward off foxes from decimating a fairy penguin colony in coastal Victoria, comes pretty close.
Yes, we've seen this all before in some form or another, and yes we all know how it will end. But that matters little when your five-year-old looks up and squeaks - her voice crumbling - "Will Oddball be all right, Dad?"
And yes I grant you, she is a dog person as well. But why so many of us care for dogs is simple, because they care even more for us.
In the ancient debate of cat vs dog, I give you one more point to consider. How many cat movies have there been? For as we all know, this won't be the last dog movie.
Because they are awesome.