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For the Love of Dogs...
Have you ever wondered why people love their dogs? Even celebrate their dogs by throwing birthday, or gotcha day, parties. Sometimes with little party hats strapped to their pooch’s head while serving up a bone-shaped cake with candles. It puzzles me when I meet people that question a pet parent’s complete devotion to their pooch. Clearly, they’ve never had a dog! My love affair with the cute canine set started early in life, and fast-forward to today where it has blossomed into designing items for dog lovers. People passionate about their pups are the type of people I want to know!
What makes dogs so great? They are devoted, loving, loyal, and oftentimes, silly creatures. With just a tilt of the head, they can give us the giggles. We can’t underestimate their ability to lift our spirits, nor undervalue their style of judgment-free love. A dog’s ability to provide humans with emotional support is unparalleled in the animal world. If you have a down day, your dog can lift you right out of it. In the last decade, there’s been a lot of research conducted on how dogs help improve our lives (source, source). Here are a few key benefits dogs give to their owners:
People love their dogs so much that when faced with a choice of leaving during an evacuation or staying because of a dog, pet parents often chose to forego their safety and stay behind. This was proven during Hurricane Katrina, and more recently in the California flash fires. Recognizing this, FEMA directors now include pets in disaster preparedness plans (here are some tips). This is how much we love our dogs, and all of us at K9 and Company get it. We love all dogs like they are our own. And it shows in everything we do. Whether you’re a “Dog Mom,” or Pitty lover, you are our kind of people!
We were so inspired by last weekend’s news story of a blind man, Thomas Panek, and his dogs making history. Panek, his personal guide dog Gus, and two trained guide dogs, Westley and Waffles, all yellow Labs, completed the New York City half marathon. In less than 2 and ½ hours, if you can believe that! That’s true dedication and devotion, on everyone’s part. That’s what we dig about dogs. They get joy out of doing things with humans, like taking turns jogging 13.1 miles to help a man compete in a long-distance race.
When humans first started domesticating dogs I’m sure we didn’t think, “wow, wait until they have us waiting on them hand-and-paw.” But look at us now! What seemed to start out as a reciprocal exchange between two very different beings, has now turned into a relationship based on devoted love. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense, but love often doesn’t. Hearts have a way of opening up to possibilities. Dogs are a lot like hearts that way.
How can we thank dogs for all that they do for us? Sure, we feed them and provide fresh water, and go on daily walks. But what else can we do to let them know how very special they are to us? Celebrate them! Compared to humans, dogs have a much shorter lifespan. So don’t hesitate to celebrate each birthday and every gotcha day. And any other day you feel like making special for your pup. Because they make every single ordinary day special for us. Heck, they make us feel that we truly are special.
Dogs have learned, over time, to watch us for cues of happiness, sadness, hunger, and playfulness. They’ve learned how to gauge what we’re going to do by our body language, and every small move we make with our face, including our eyes. Dogs respond according to our movements, and it’s in these initial exchanges that the human-animal bond begins. The more time your dog spends with you, the better he or she knows you and can give you love when you need it, make you laugh when you’re in the mood, and snuggle up for bedtime with you the same time every night… Even though they don’t know how to tell time! This is how connected dogs are to us.
While I’m not too sure we deserve dogs, I’m so very grateful to have them in our lives. The lessons they teach us, the joy that they bring into our lives, and the memories we make with them, are truly a priceless gift. Yes, it’s easy to understand why humans love dogs so much - because they love us, unconditionally.
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