Cheetah and Dog

Photo: Zoological Society of San Diego

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The Cheetah and the Anatolian Shepherd
The Animal Version
"The dog—calm, loveable, adaptable—helps the cheetah relax and accept unfamiliar situations."

The Human Version
She's the head of a massive real-estate company. He's a carpenter who dabbles in guitar. During dinner at a restaurant, she gets upset about the location of the table and asks the hostess to move them. When it's time to order, she gets the tacos without tortillas and the salad with extra, extra, extra ripe avocado. Then she requests three lemon slices in her water. Meanwhile, he sits there, humming a random tune and playing with his fork.

When her water arrives with two lemon slices, she openly fumes. He smiles very politely at the waiter but asks for the third slice, plus gives her his slice from his glass. By now, you might be thinking, "This guy spends his life running around after this woman, cleaning up after her demands. He's the nice one but...maybe kind of a wimp?" Then the tacos arrive with tortillas. A look of outrage and panic crosses the woman's face. She opens her mouth, just as he pats her hand—tenderly but firmly. She shuts her mouth and smiles at him, as if nobody else exists. There it is: the comfort of being reminded that somebody knows who you are...and who you want to be.