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Man Vs. Dog….Don’t Get Married. Get a Dog!

By: Rebecca K. O'Connor

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As the Year of the Dog (2006) draws to a close, many people are wishing that it wouldn't end. The Chinese consider the Year of the Dog to be an excellent year to get married. Getting married in the Year of the Dog guarantees that a couple will be together for life. It is also a good year to have children. Didn't find the spouse of you dreams? Perhaps there is a better alternative.

Bringing home a dog may be the very best way to celebrate the canine's namesake year. Think of all the poor pups waiting in the shelters and rescues for a good home and that empty spot on your bed. As the divorce rate rapidly rises many pet crazy Americans are finding that the best spouse is actually a dog, but we may be way behind on the times.

In India, the Munda tribes in Orissa marry off their infant girls to dogs if they get first tooth through the upper gum. This is meant to ward off bad omens and evil spirits. The indigenous belief is that a girl who has her first tooth cut through the upper rather than the lower gum is cursed and will be eaten by wild animals. If they are quickly married off to dogs in the month of "Chaitra" March-April the dogs will protect them. The marriage ceremony is complete with full regalia, nothing missed so that spirits will take the marriage seriously.

The ceremony proceeds just like any other. The dog comes in with the marriage procession dressed in fine attire and the bride's family welcomes him as the groom. The dog joins the revelers as they dance, sing and make merry and the wedding is complete. Although the ceremony is performed for superstitious reasons, it doesn't lack a single aspect including the dowry. The lucky girl however, is free to marry a man when she is older and she doesn't even have to divorce her protector, the dog. This is perhaps the best of worlds.

When you think about it, there are some great reasons why a dog makes a great husband. As the Munda know, dogs are excellent protectors and are often far more loyal than humans. Any bump is the night is sure to be immediately investigated by the dog, while a sleepy man waits to see if it's worth his while to get up. Dogs are always happy to see you no matter kind of day they have had. They also pleased with whatever you choose to make them for dinner and will even lick their bowl clean. Dogs don't ever complain or argue and listen intently to whatever you might want to say to them. Dogs never ask for a divorce. In fact, they usually don't mind if you bring a new dog home. You can have as many canine spouses you can manage. So what are you waiting for? Why not make every year, the year of the dog!



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