There is often a negative connotation when people are likened to animals. In Filipino, it is an insult when you’re told, “Hayup ka!” I wonder if this thinking is rooted in the primal nature of animals, because I can’t find any other reason why they would deserve that undertone.
My dogs, for example, as my biggest and most constant exposure to animals, have more wonderful traits that some humans lack: simplicity, loyalty, kindness, empathy, sensitivity.
This morning, Bruce, my black Sharpei, didn’t finish his food. Kani, my labrador, saw his dish and started chowing down on it. Bruce got mad, and bit Kani in the ear to try to keep him away; but Kani had started to stand over the dish, growling territorially. Their little riff last about 2 minutes, even as we tried to pull them apart, but finally Bruce backed down. Upon inspection, I saw drops of blood on the floor and saw that Bruce had bitten Kani quite hard, leaving 5 punctures in his ear. We brought Bruce out of the house momentarily, while I dressed Kani’s wounds.
Within minutes, Bruce had knocked on the door to be let back in (yes, he knocks.) We were wary at first, not knowing if the fight would continue; but I was touched to see them both walk toward each other. Bruce sniffed Kani, and Kani started to lick his face repeatedly. They continued to do this, walking slightly around each other, for about a minute, until it seemed they had made their peace.
How wonderful it must be to forgive like them, bearing no grudges, ready to reconcile and forget the past within 5 minutes. So while I see where the negative connotations come from (they did fight and bite first,) I want to recognise that there is more good in animals than some realise.