The dogs as role models – a heartfelt tribute to Lennu


President Sauli Niinistö and Jenni Haukio’s dog, a Boston terrier known as Lennu (10), passed away on Friday, 21.05.2021, from complications related to brain cancer, the president’s office tweeted on Saturday. “If it were up to how much we loved you, you would have lived forever.”, Jenni Haukio tweeted.

The sad news of Lennu’s untimely demise called back my memories from decades ago when my uncle slapped me because I couldn’t stop teasing his hunting dogs. The elders scolded my uncle for slapping a child for dogs. It happened in a religious society where dogs are considered filthy. Keeping dogs at home, or touching them, is considered an infelicitous and disgraceful act.

My uncle was very fond of hunting. He hardly managed to found three hounds after a hellish quest. These dogs lived separately in the corner of the compound. Only children went to see these dogs. Adults didn’t go anywhere close by them, neither eat deer or rabbit meat that was hunted by dogs. People called my uncle stubborn and semi-crazy because he raised and cared for dogs. He was proud of his dog breed and I still have sweet memories of joining his hunting adventures.

And even today, people sell dogs and cats by breed. But I value the lives of pets in terms of their survival in a religious and social environment rather than their breed. The religious beliefs of people have a great impact on the lives of animals – especially dogs and cats. In Judaism and Islam, the pig is an unclean animal. The cow is sacred in Hinduism. Black cats had a hard time under Catholics. Religions have labelled and defined animals as non-conformable, but animals have always been secular.

Take the example of a dog. Humans devised many ways and divided dogs into several breeds for commercial purposes. But man, despite all his tricks and conspiracies, could not make dogs prejudiced. They are ready to love and accept any person as their so-called “owner”. Dogs do not have masters but friends to help them in areas of life they can not help themselves. Animals are here for the human being to be their friends in time of loneliness. They offer mental peace just by being around.

Dogs are unbiased. They do not care whether their owner is a religious person, or a non-religious, heterosexual or gay or lesbian, black or white, even what language they speak. Dogs speak and understand the wordless language of love.

Secondly dogs almost and all the time thinks positive. Until there is a clear threat they remain calm. They express gratitude by wagging their tails.

Please bear in mind that something positive in the dog’s brain shakes its tail. The last tip of the dog’s tail is the most distanced body part from the dog’s chin. Despite the distance, the tail receives a direct signal from the brain, because the tail is directly attached to the brain. If the other organs do not stop the tail from responding naturally, then the tail starts moving as soon as it receives a signal from the brain. Whenever dogs’ eyes pass a glimpse of their master, their tails start wagging and dancing as a gesture of their positive thoughts and gratitude.

A dog of any breed, region or country reacts positively by wagging its tail. A dog never wags its tail to attack any person. They do not attack in disguise. They do not make a false appearance to cheat anyone. This is how the Polish scientist and author, Janusz Leon Wiśniewski prayed: “God make me the man my dog thinks I am.” This is a short but very powerful and profound prayer.

In the light of Wiśniewski’s prayer, let us imagine what dogs think about their owners. First of all, the dog loves the owner unconditionally. This love remains the same in every situation. Your partner may be upset when you come home late, but your dog will greet you warmly. Whether you employed or unemployed, whether you drink a lot or none. Whether you are a religious person or an atheist. Whether you are successful in life or you are down to earth. Any of your habits or beliefs or political membership can not diminish or affect your dog’s friendship and loyalty.

You can’t be sure of all these about your spouse, family member, relative, colleagues, or friends. All our human relationships depend on our habits, beliefs and attitudes. But your relationship with dogs is unconditional.

Man is a super creation. Humans claim supremacy over any other creations in the universe. But when it comes to loyalty, humans should be given the example of dogs. Man is far ahead of animals in making machines. But until now dogs are far ahead of humans because of their manners and loyalty and friendship.

I suggest the government making a law that every family should have a pet dog. Everyone should compare their behaviour to their dog’s behaviour. I hope we remain as tolerant, loyal, friendly, and accept each other unconditionally as our dogs do.


  1. Olet aivan oikeassa koirista. Muistan haikein mielin meidän koiraamme. Hän oli ahkera kävelyttäjä minulle. Muistelemme häntä usein.

    1. Paljon kiitoksia, Pirjo sinun kommentista. Se on ihan totta. Lemmikit ovat tosi tärkeät. Meillä on vain hamsteri, mutta hän on varmasti perheen jänsen ja lapsillamme on koveita tunteita häntä kohtaan. Paljon terveisiä sinulle, Lubica

  2. I like the prayer, “o, God make me the man my dog thinks I am”. nice article about dogs.

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