Commentary
5:00 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Richard Crowson: The Mystery of Dog Years

Of all the measures of time that humans have invented, the one I have the biggest problem with is dog years.

All the rest of them make sense to me - minutes, hours, days, months, all that. Perfectly logical. But dog years? There’s something just totally messed up about dog years.

Credit Olga Martschitsch / Flickr / Creative Commons

It’s the one big mystery of life that I know I’m going to bring up when I meet my maker. As I stand there before the Great Throne where all the profundities of existence are explained, I’m going to raise the issue of my, pardon the pun, “pet peeve.”

“What is the deal with dog years?” I’m gonna ask. “How come people live 80 or more years on average, but dogs, depending on the breed, only get between six and 15 years? It’s sort of like how hot dogs come 10 to a package and hot dog buns are in packs of eight, only much, much worse.

“Listen up, Supreme Being,” I’ll say, “It’s not fair. You created these amazing creatures called dogs. You endowed them with the magical ability to endear themselves to us. You gave them super-cardiologists’ abilities to massage human hearts, toss them into the air and use them for chew toys. Then you gave them a lifespan that’s shorter than the average popular, crummy TV series. Why did you make dogs’ lives so short compared to humans? We are tragically out of sync!”

But I suspect I know what the Creator’s answer is going to be. I think it will be something like, “Are you kidding? I love dogs just as much as you do. Six to 15 years at a time is as long as I can stand to loan them to you.”

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