The Stranger, a novel by Albert Camus, focuses on a strange relationship between Salamano, an old man, and his dog, who suffers from mange. People say that dogs often look like their owners, this is one of those cases. In the story, Camus explains, “They look as if they belong to the same species, and yet they hate each other” (27). This comes as a bit of a shock because you would expect them to have a great bond, especially if they look similar. But as you later learn, Salamano beats and swears at his dog (27).
However, this relationship of terror, from the dog, and hatred, from Salamano, is flipped upside down in the following chapters. Later, the dog is lost and the reader learns that Salamano got the dog to cure his loneliness after his wife died. He would rub his dog with ointment every day twice a day and said, “He was a good dog” (45). This gives the reader more insight into their relationship and spins the perspective from an abusive and negative relationship to a loving and caring one.
Whether Salamano connects his dog to his late wife or as a life long companion, we do not know. But, Salamano does care greatly for his dog and is heavily concerned when it is missing. Although, Salamano shows his affection in a non-healthy way, abuse.