When they throw meat to the dog, he forgets the bread and salt (companionship one had with someone else).
This Syrian phrase is said to someone who throws away years of friendship and gregarious company with someone or people, and betrays, abandons or leaves them etc.
Imagine being with someone who you've shared many meals with; you have both been through the good and the bad, the happy and bitter times, simply everything. Arabs value companionship like no other. It is considered shameful if someone leaves his longtime companion when the going gets tough, or when he is abased, when he is down after he was at the top. We say he is a man of companionship, he who honours friendship and really cares.
Is there anything like this in English especially pertaining the second part 'forgets the bread and salt'?
- Bread is referring to the bread they broke.
- Salt can refer to the bad they went through together somehow. It's a cultural thing.