Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why Do We Love Our Dogs So Much?

Most people are crazy about their dogs (cats too). The connections we have with dogs are often some of the longest relationships we have. For some people their pets even become best friends.

So what makes these creatures such key members in our families, and why do we love them so much?

Dogs show a large range of emotions—love, anxiety, curiosity—and thus trick us into thinking they possess a full range of human feelings. And perhaps they do. They dance with joy when we come home, put their heads on our knees and stare longingly into our eyes. Dogs are an unending source of hugs & kisses, snuggling, slobber, and laughs. Ah, we think, at last, the kind of love and loyalty we crave. Dogs become loyal companions to us and also possess the very appealing characteristic of not being able to speak; we are therefore free to fill in the blanks with what we need to hear.

Dogs have figured out how to integrate themselves into human society in ways that benefit us both. We get affection and attention. They get the same, plus food, shelter, and protection. To grasp this exchange doesn't trivialize our love, it explains it.

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