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The old man [Candy] squirmed uncomfortably. "Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him." He said proudly, "You wouldn't think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen." (3.56)
This is almost the exact same thing that George says about Lennie: he's "had him so long." But can you really be friends with a dog? Or someone who's way mentally inferior to you?