I think dogs are better than humans. There, I said it. In fact, I think we can learn a lot from them, especially after the last 12 months we’ve all had.
For full disclosure, I was never ‘a dog person’. I never had a dog growing up and when I got bitten by one as a teenager I kind of got put off (which is sort of reasonable!). So, if you don’t ‘get’ dogs, I completely understand where you’re coming from.
However, I then met my girlfriend. She is an ardent dog-lover believing that they bring out the best in people. To test that we joined an app called ‘Borrow My Doggy’. It’s basically Tinder with dogs; it matches people who have dogs with people who love dogs.
Since then we’ve looked after Dachshunds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Pugs, Cockapoos and Cavachon’s. We’ve looked after mutts of all manner and sizes and each individual one has had their own unique personality.
Yet the thing which bewitches me most is that a dog never asks you to lose more weight, earn more money or buy a bigger house. There are male and female working dogs, yet there’s no gender pay gap. Dogs don’t kill mame and fight each other in the name of ‘Almighty Dog’. The nearest any dog has got to chemical warfare is breaking wind and walking off in disgust. Dogs just accept you for who you are and there’s so much to be learnt from that.
It’s no surprise, then, that dogs are good for mental health. I’ve read numerous articles saying how getting a canine can improve your mental health and reduce stress. For comparison, I’ve never read a single article saying how having a baby can help improve your mental health and reduce stress.
All dogs are underdogs. They’re so overlooked (and not only because they’re only about a foot high). Dogs give so much and expect so little in return. And after the last year we’ve all had, we can all realise the importance of celebrating the people who give so much. We all stood clapping for NHS workers, posties, bus drivers and shelf stackers. Jobs that snobby people sometimes look down on became celebrated and lauded. Even though it’s been a tough year for everyone, I don’t want to lose that sense of celebrating the underdog.
This is why I’m bringing my show to the wonderful Guilford Fringe – to celebrate the rise of the underdog, to shine a light on man (and woman’s) best friend and to have a giggle. Because, after everything we’ve all been through, who doesn’t need a laugh!?
Date – 9th July
Name – Dave Chawner; Underdog
Venue – The Back Room, The Star Inn, 2 Quarry Street, Guildford, GU1 3TY
Price – £9