More people deeply love dogs than any other animal.
You can argue with me. But I doubt you’ll win.
Cats? There are more of them. And there’s no doubt that some people love cats and understand them very well. But most people like having cats around without trying to know them or getting very involved in their lives.
Horses? People with horses talk about their bond in ways like that of dogs and humans. But horses don’t live in your home. And only a few people can afford the expense of caring for such a large animal.
Birds? Maybe. Thanks to their intelligence, ability to grasp objects, speech mimicry (in some cases), and potentially long lives, birds and humans do form very strong bonds. But once again, they’re vastly outnumbered by serious dog lovers.
If dogs are the winner of a competition I just made up, why? Why do people love dogs so much?
I can only speak for myself.
Why I Love Dogs
Here’s a small part of my list:
Dogs are like us
Dogs solve problems. They are self-serving. They are intelligent and social.
Yeah, I know you introverts are saying, “I’m not social.” But you live with a dog, don’t you?
Dogs are not at all like us
My husband calls them “fuzzy aliens.”
Their noses reveal a world to them we’ll never know. And some things that are important to them we’ll never understand.
Dogs are everywhere
It’s hard to get away from dogs. I find them everywhere I go.
But if you push your luck by dropping your poochie off to spend time with your dog-hating Grandma, I’ll deny I ever wrote this.
Dogs are fuzzy
I admit it. I just love touching furry creatures.
And even dogs that aren’t exactly fuzzy, still feel silky and beautiful under the touch.
Dogs bring out our sensuous side.
Yes, this is me:
Dogs are pretty
And while we’re exploring the sensual side, aren’t dogs beautiful?
The variety of colors. The body shapes. The athleticism.
There’s a dog for every aesthetic taste.
Dogs help us
Remember what I said about dogs being like us because they’re self-serving? Well, we’re self-serving because we get them to serve us.
Dogs do so many jobs for humans:
- comforting the lonely and traumatized
- assisting the disabled
- finding the lost
- helping reading children find confidence
- protecting their families or partners
and so much more.
And they do all this without union wages or the chance to change to another job.
Dogs don’t hog the computer when I need to work
Not once have I ever caught my dog checking her email or the weather when I needed to get work done.
Evolution says we have to
Some scientists argue that human and canine evolution is so interlinked that we would not be humans without dogs. And dogs would not be dogs without humans.
If evolution isn’t a comfortable notion for you, I’m fine with you saying that God made a dog for us.
Dogs never talk through movies
I love my husband. But I’ve tried to train him not to talk through movies and tv shows for nearly 30 years.
He’s better. But he still hasn’t gotten it.
My dog Honey learned this advanced skill while she was still a puppy.
Dogs are portable
Not every dog travels well. But most do.
I love traveling with my dog. By foot, by bike, by kayak, and by car.
Dogs love us back
I don’t ascribe every emotion to dogs that some people do. I don’t, for instance, buy the unconditional love thing. But maybe I’m just a cynic.
But I do believe that dogs love us. As much as we love them. Maybe even more.
And who isn’t looking for love?
Why We Love Dogs So Much
Maybe that’s the real reason more humans love more dogs. Because they love us back.
And because we’ve been working on our relationship together for the past 20,000 or so years.
photo credit: (Guide dog) smerikal via photopin cc. Click on the photo to learn more about the photographer.