Jonah Goldberg, who kindly linked to my post about saying goodbye to our dog last week, has a great column today refuting the "he doesn't love you, you just taste salty" theory of canine behavior:
Look, few would dispute that dogs are complicated creatures with internal lives that fall far short of humanlike consciousness or self-awareness. And anyone who’s spent more than five minutes with dogs knows their priorities and our own differ dramatically. That’s part of the magic of doggy goodness. Dogs don’t care whether you’re rich or famous or popular. They care about you. Or, in the case of my dog, Cosmo (a shelter dog), he cares about me and about maintaining an orderly and secure perimeter on our block, as free of mail carriers, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, cheetahs, and wildebeests as possible. His biggest successes have been with the cheetahs and wildebeests — so far.
Read the whole thing, and after that, check out this entirely wonderful column from November, 2001, about the World Trade Center rescue dogs, also by Jonah.