Reversing the Numbness

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Animals as Allies

I think I heard a story about dolphins saving a surfer from a shark recently, or something like that, and I've been thinking about animals as allies ever since. How many animals can really be considered allies of mankind? I guess just two: dogs and dolphins.

Dogs are a no-brainer. There's even a best-friend cliche. They show concern for us all the time. Dolphins are of course more mysterious, and our alliance with them isn't nearly as solid. But it's pretty selfless when they help us in wild situations, considering the things we've done to them and the threat we continue to pose. What do they have to gain from rescuing a surfer from a shark? Do they think the surfer is going to head back to shore and convince everyone to stop killing them? They're less likely to be killed by the shark, and for this, I consider them true allies.

What about horses? Cats? Pet pigs? Do these animals care about us, or do they just coexist peacefully with us? Would they intentionally help us out in a tight spot if they weren't personally in that tight spot as well?

I don't know. The Electric Orchid Hunter will probably tell me there's a monkey in Africa that likes to give tired people back rubs. But for all I know, only dogs and dolphins really have our backs.

Speaking of TEOH, you should check out the photos from his laboratory in Colorado. There's some good business over there.


M@ said...

I imagine many individuals of these species as eager to showcase their intelligence and to communicate with us at times.

I was in San Diego last week and overheard a conversation about the facility nearby where the Navy trains its dolphins. I read somewhere that merely being in the water near dolphins has a calming effect on humans b/c their electrical systems do something to our brains....

Mungerphut said...

If I was being attacked by somebody, my dog would defend me. My cat (if I had one) would get the hell out of there in an instinctual act of self-preservation. My horse? She would watch me get bludgeoned by a mugger, chewing on hay, and walk away from my broken pleading body.

Nothing compares to dogs and their love of man.

I cannot speak for dolphins. We do not have a pool.

SleekPelt said...

m@: I recently read somewhere that swimming with dolphins in one of the top items' on bucket lists everywhere. No wonder, what with those electrical impulses.

mungerphut: I'm with you, but there is something about the whole dolphin thing. In a way, dogs are like this because we've tamed them to be this way. I doubt wolves would go out of their way to save you from drowning in a pool. Dolphins, on the other hand, do it completely naturally. To me, that's particularly crazy.

The Heretic said...

I've been in the water when dolphins draw near. Let me tell you, when you first see those fins... It sure did something electric to me! After I figured out it wasn't sharks, the water felt all warm and cozy. Slightly saltier too.