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Man's Best Friend

Lessons in symbiotic relationships

By Donna ReneePublished 19 days ago 3 min read
Man's Best Friend
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

My humans left for their day jobs just now and that means I can curl up on their bed in comfort without getting caught. There is a crate in the living room and several cozy floor rugs where I could spend the lonely hours, but let's be honest. Is the floor or a cage really the place for man's best friend? I guess my recently adopted sibling, Teddy, can go in the crate if he wants, but I'm staying on the bed!

Teddy and I aren't the best of friends. He doesn't like me much. Probably because I was here first. Also I bit him the first time our human parents left us alone together but that can't possibly be why...No, it's because he's new to the family and I rule the roost here.

Honestly, I don't like Teddy much either. He is needy. He drools a lot. He is "eating us out of house and home" according to Dad. His farts smell like steamed broccoli. He gets the zoomies sometimes and knocks over, well, everything that isn't bolted to the floor. I thought doodles were supposed to be smart and very trainable! So far, I am...significantly less than impressed.

The other day, a few minutes after "the incident" where Teddy zoomied right into the bookshelf and shattered Great Nana's urn, I heard our humans talking in the bedroom. Dad was yelling about "getting rid of these goddamn useless creatures" and "freakin' parasites" and, to be honest, I felt a bit scared by all the yelling but only for half of a second, tops.

They couldn't be talking about us, right? Well, maybe Teddy. But not ME! They've had me since I was a baby! I'm their closest companion! I'm their snuggle buddy! AND, I am useful. I'm no freeloading, nutrient stealing, intestinal distress causing, piece of... well, I do poop in the house sometimes but I try really hard not to and you know how it is when you get older...

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that while Teddy is definitely useless and may be loosely describable as a parasite, I have a definite purpose, many actually. Hmmm...come to think of it, if anything, I am a symbiote!

You understand symbiosis, right?

Not really?

Ah, no problem. Happy to help! (See? Look at me being so useful again!)

Symbiosis is when organisms coexist and rely upon each other for something. A mutually beneficial relationship, if you will.

Unlike parasitic organisms, symbiotic ones make one another's lives easier!

Take what is probably the most famous pair...the shark and the remora. Remoras will attach themselves to a shark and eat any parasites that are living on the shark's skin. This gives the remora a snack, protection from predators, and the shark gets the equivalent of a good exfoliant scrub at the spa!

Or, the crocodile and the Egyptian Plover bird! That's another great example! The birds get to snack on between teeth leftovers and the crocodiles get a free dental cleaning. I guess flossing with crocodile hands would be a bit tricky. This bird-in-the-mouth system works for them though!

Now that you understand symbiosis a bit better, wouldn't you agree that I fit the definition? Let's take a closer look at our relationship (and let's leave Teddy out of it because we've already decided he is, at best, useless, ok?)

My humans give me shelter.

My humans provide me with as much food as I want.

My humans give me a cozy place to sleep.

And in turn,

I keep my humans company.

I provide them with lots of attention.

I give them interesting itchy rashes to panic over.

I inspired that cute little nighttime rhyme they say to tease their kids.

Ah, yes. I feel better now. I have nothing to worry about. Dad wasn't talking about me. That exterminator he called before leaving for work today must be coming tomorrow to "fumigate" Teddy, whatever that means. Poor dog. Sure, he is cute, (remember that photo of him that I put at the beginning?) but what a useless parasite!

Anyway, time for bed for me! I've got a long night's work ahead, you know.

Good night, sleep tight! You know the rest...

***Author's Note***

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Short StoryHumor

About the Creator

Donna Renee

Hi! Thanks for reading! My hobbies include making coffee, drinking coffee, and starting to write a story and then rage-deleting it when I get the slightest bit frustrated.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  4. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  5. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (36)

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  • Hannah Moore11 days ago

    This dog has great self esteem, I love it.

  • Babs Iverson15 days ago

    Fantastic story & read!!! Loved it!!!

  • Robbie Cheadle15 days ago

    This is very clever. Well done.

  • Sk Ashraf16 days ago

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  • Gobi Munusamy16 days ago

    Congratulations on top story! Good story

  • Moe Radosevich16 days ago

    This guy should run for office, he’s a sure in, very entertaining story, congrats on top story honors 😀

  • Cute perspective of life from a dog's point of view. Congrats on your Top Story!

  • Nikki Clam16 days ago

    This is hilarious! It feels like I'm listening to an actual dog with a personality and a sense of humor. I love how the dog portrays its own importance and tries to convince the reader of its symbiotic relationship with its humans. The way it talks about Teddy and the incident with Great Nana's urn is also very relatable to anyone who has dealt with a new pet disrupting the household. Overall, great job on making this piece feel like a real dog's thoughts and emotions.😄😄

  • KJ Aartila16 days ago

    Hehe! Too cute! 😄

  • aniimaal16 days ago


  • Sylviane LE CANN16 days ago

    Congratulations for your stories, I laughed and laughed ! I was not absolutely sure 🤔 who was speaking ( my English is average , my language being french) , but had the confirmation reading one of the comments. And I read several times.! It's hilarious. Thank you 😊!

  • Amber Annabelle16 days ago

    A great read, a well deserved top story 👏

  • Awww This is a great Tale ❤️😉

  • Gal Mux17 days ago

    The doggie on the pic is a cuuuuutie 😆 warming story. We are want to be in mutually enriching relationships. Congrats on TP !

  • Leslie Writes17 days ago

    Extremely cute! What a smart doggie with that science knowledge. Congrats on top story 🙂

  • Lori Melton17 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story! Very cute!

  • Cathy holmes17 days ago

    Yay. Congrats on the top story

  • Scott Wade17 days ago

    Brilliant and so dang cute. Congrats on Top Story.🥰 Why do I hear Toccata in d minor playing at the end? 😂

  • Yay!! Congratulations Donna

  • Heather Hubler17 days ago

    LOL, loved that little twist on the narrator!! So much fun!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!

  • C. H. Richard17 days ago

    Congratulations on your top story even though it creeped me out 🤪

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Great little story. Bed bugs are the worst😂

  • Hang on, picking up my jaw from the floor. Okay I'm back, lol! You're so sneakyyyy! I was so convinced that it was a dog! You got me good! I should have seen this coming with the dad calling him a freaking parasite. You are crazy talented with this unreliable narrator technique! Very well done!

  • Gina C.18 days ago

    I really enjoyed this! Loved the surprise at the end. You are on a roll! Wonderful job :)

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