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Dogs, Better Than All the Rest

In honor of National Dog Month, comedian Gail Forrest pays tribute to her beloved dogs (who have made better companions than any man could).

Dogs have been life savers to me. After two husbands, and countless relationships I have concluded my dogs have been easier and more fun to be with than any man. I understand you might feel that way about your cat, but I don’t have one. Truthfully, I would not have traded a man for any of my dogs and thankfully I never had to make the choice. It’s me and the pup or adios. There’s no coincidence they have outlasted everyone.

My little rescue Tulip was my constant companion thru the worst of COVID. We were a pod and she lived up to the word “rescue” as without her cute under bite smile and happy wiggle butt I would have hidden in the closet for two years. 

I haven’t met the man that has the qualities she possesses. Tulip looks forward to every meal and the menu never varies. There is no expectation of me to cook or shop for food. We are politically in sync; no arguing over candidates and Supreme Court decisions. We like the same TV shows and she never hogs the clicker or demands a channel change. I can’t believe it but she likes watching golf majors as much as I do and doesn’t complain about yet another Friends re-run. I am not up all night shoving her so she stops snoring. No scrambling for earplugs or sleeping on the couch. Not a sound out of her just silence. Tulip isn’t an exercise slacker but is ready to go go go; no weak excuses like “I’m too tired, maybe tomorrow.” Neither of us can sit and stay. She will roll over for a treat which I won’t do.

Dogs are the best medical care. My Doberman Thurber laid by my side for days on end during a horrid bout with the flu. He stuck like glue for a month waiting patiently until I could take him for a walk again. Nurse Thurber was on call. I whole heartedly reciprocated when he blew out a cruciate ligament, bandaging his surgical leg and rehabbing him slowly. He was my partner until he took his last breath at the foot of my bed on Valentine’s Day. I still can’t talk about it, but wanted to sell my condo and move as not come home to him.  

Dogs are surrogate therapists as well. Their listening skills are unequaled. And you are not crazy in my book if you tell your furry friend your problems or just chit chat during a walk. Regardless of whether or not you can carry a tune they listen to you sing which for my dogs must have been torture.  

If you need a date walk a dog. They are conversation starters and then it’s up to you.  It’s fool proof and better than a dating site. Put on the leash and go out in the world as dogs are great social conduits. I met a husband thanks to our Golden Retrievers.

I nostalgically remember growing up watching Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Old Yeller. I loved all of them. I am sure there isn’t a dog person who will ever forget the end of Old Yeller. I feel like I cried until I had no more tears. I had never felt such sadness.  

A fun anecdote however, is recalling the line “Lassie go get help, Timmy’s in the well” and my research shows that not one of 591 episodes did Timmy ever fall in the well. It just became part of dog lore.  

And now dogs have taken over Instagram. The only reason I check out the site is for the hilarious dog videos. Step aside Kevin Hart and Chris Rock as a fat Labrador is funnier. He is bemoaning in a voice over the fact that his food bowl is half empty and no one has noticed and he might soon starve. I laugh out loud every time I see it whether it’s a rotund Dachshund, Basset Hound, Pittie, or Yorkie complaining about their half full bowl. This is funny shit. A sleeping Corgi feeling he’s being disrupted from his “nappie poo” and plotting revenge on his owner is great material. I understand his annoyance. I’m jealous I haven’t thought of anything that funny for my little dog Tulip in order for her to be an Insta sensation. Tulip needs jokes, songs, funny repartee and a great voice over to keep up with the other comic canines. I know she has star quality. 

This dog mania on social media makes perfect sense to me as after all, how many restaurant style plated dinners on FB can you see before you want to stick pins in your eyes? I’m happy for the at home chefs but if you’re not going to send me some seared salmon with couscous and a paired wine why do I want to see it? And the vacay pictures are nice but again, unless you take me with, it just pisses me off I’m on social media and not Maui. Watching dogs dunking small basketballs, gleefully ripping apart expensive bedding, rolling in the mud before jumping on the couch and complaining about a half empty bowl is so much more entertaining. 

I confess, I owe much of my sanity to the dogs that I have loved and this is my tribute to: Jonah, Miami, Thurber, Potato and Tulip.  

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Gail, I’m a cat guy myself, but I’m totally at one with the sentiment you beautifully express. Dogs and cats definitely are our indispensable companions.

    And yeah, cats can be loyal in their own aloof fashion – whenever a cat is alone with you, the cat pretends it’s totally by accident – but they are there when it counts, without judgment. Also, I think dogs and cats are kind of like batteries that charge the air with creativity, seriously. Yes, they’re domesticated and everything, but they’re still wild mysterious spirits …. It’s a cool energy to have around.

  2. Gail- I’m a dog person. We’ve had (rescue) Boxers which such goofy dogs and a total hoot! We lost our last Boxer at the start of the pandemic and needed time to heal. But I can tell I’m ready to bring a pup back into my home as I too troll my social media sites for funny dog videos and photos. Thanks for your article- it put a smile on my face and prompted me to write this rely (a first for me!),

    • Katherine: So glad you read this and it prompted you to go out and get another dog to care for and love! I am different in that I immediately get another dog after a death as I am too devastated and shaken to go it alone. They are soul and life savers. Go save another as so many returned their Covid rescues which tragically I thought would happen. The shelters are too full to handle all the dogs…..one of them needs you !


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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