What was the #1 reason you decided to bring a dog into your life?
I posed this question to hundreds of fellow dog loves, colleagues, family and friends.
Here are some of the responses I received, which I believe reflect the most common reasons we bring dogs into our lives, at least for most of us here:
*Companionship & unconditional love.
*Their sweet presence and unconditional acceptance.
*I was looking for that unbreakable and unspoken bond that dogs offer and that rarely exists between humans.
*I wanted a playmate, adventure sidekick, family member to share life with.
*A dog raises the joy factor and no matter what’s going on, my dog makes me smile and I feel happy the minute I open my eyes because I’m always greeted with a big sloppy kiss!
*Our fur babies nurture and enrich our lives. Pets are part of the family. Our children learn to care, trust, love and take responsibility for our beloved pets.
*I was looking for a companion that I knew would love me unconditionally. *I love to take care of them.
*I wanted to help a dog. To share my home with a dog who didn't have a home, or who had been let down by previous owners.
*Because I have so much love to give.
*Dogs give you unconditional love, companionship, loyalty and trust.
*They are simply part of us, are part of the family and often they understand my moods better than the human members of our family.
*It was in my DNA the second I was born...dogs have been my friends, my solace and my happiest place.
*I was bullied a lot and didn't really have a lot of friends that would stick by me. I knew a dog would be my friend.
*To give love to those who don't have a voice.
*Dogs are great, honest partners, and teach us a lot.
*I get to express my maternal side. My dogs are my children and the loves of my life.
*Without them, there is an energy missing, it's very silent ( this is not physically) the unconditional happiness and love helps me understand, why on earth I'm here! __________________________________
When reading these comments I think it’s clear that underneath the fluffy, cuddly bundles of fur, the sloppy kisses, the silly antics and the wagging tails that greet us when we come home, lies something deeper.
It's that feeling of having a trusted companion who is so attuned to us and knows us better than most people do. A friend who loves and accepts us, unconditionally. One who shares our joys and sorrows.
It’s the desire to share a heart connection - an unspoken bond, deep and true.
I believe that dogs, who are social mammals just like us, have similar needs and desires. They too seek and enjoy that deep connection and the sense of safety, comfort and trust that comes with sharing a close bond with another being.
In fact, studies have revealed that the bond we form with our dogs is very similar to that of the parent-infant bond. The same parts of the brain are activated and the same chemicals are released in our bodies whether we are caring for an infant or a puppy or young dog. Another study showed that when we gaze lovingly into the eyes of our dog, and they return that gaze, the ‘love chemical’, Oxytocin, is released in both the human and the dog.
The human-canine bond involves some deep emotions they flow both ways, there is no doubt about it. But, perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for having dogs in our lives, is that they fulfil our deep need for unconditional love and acceptance. They don’t seem to care what gender we are, what car we drive or what religion we follow. They accept our imperfections, our uniqueness and our individuality. They allow us to be our fully authentic-selves. No airs, pretences or people-pleasing required.
We are free to share our love with them and receive it wholeheartedly in return.
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