Before you own a dog, you don’t really understand what people see in them. They’re loud, smelly, and always need attention. It’s a massive drain on your time and energy.
But then, when you take the plunge, you see an entirely different side to them. All of a sudden, your pup becomes the center of your world, and you can’t imagine how you ever lived without them.
Researchers think that the love between people and their dogs runs deep in your psyches. It comes down to the fact that the two species have been living symbiotically for at least ten thousand years, and probably longer. Our love of dogs has almost become a part of our DNA, perhaps because historically, it offered a survival advantage.
Just look at how people react when their pets pass away. Many owners treat their deaths like loved human companions, buying picture and wood urns for pets to remember them. It’s an emotional event. And a lot of owners are shocked by how they react when it happens.
Dogs Keep Us Going
So why can’t we help ourselves when it comes to loving our dogs? What is it about these creatures that make us fall so wildly and deeply in love with them?
One reason could be the fact that they keep us going. It’s a harsh world out there. And as humans, we have to deal with many dreadful problems in our lives. Work is stressful. People we love betray us. And our health can fail.
But throughout it all, our dogs are constant happy companions. It doesn’t matter how brutal things are for us; they still offer us the same amount of love as they always did. Unless you’ve had that in your life, it can be hard to know what you’re missing.
Dogs Remind Us That Life Can Be Simple
The natural world reminds us of the simplicity of life. But we come into contact with wild creatures so rarely that it can be difficult for us to appreciate how they live.
With dogs, though, we have a personal insight into the animal world. They show us their care-free nature and that living in the moment is essential. Dogs don’t worry about the past or the future. They’re not up all night wondering whether somebody loves them or whether they will lose their job. Instead, they take each day as it comes. They show us that living can be much simpler than our modern society admits. It’s not about continually striving for money, sex, and power. It’s just about enjoying the ride. Dogs take the pressure off.
Dogs Bring Out Our Primal Emotions
Civilization offers us all kinds of advantages. It provides us with all the material things that we could want. And it allows us to expand our lives considerably.
But there are downsides too – the main one being that we can’t explore our primal desires. Whenever we act, we have to keep one eye on what the wider community will find acceptable. Thus, getting into that primal state of mind can be a challenge. Many of us are so influenced by society that we’re not able to connect with it at all.
Dogs, though, don’t concern themselves with the vagaries of human society. They’re pack animals, and all that matters to them is the people and dogs in their immediate environment. In that sense, they give us an idea of what it’s like to live primarily. They connect us to our ancient past and show us how humans lived thousands of years ago. They show us what it’s like to act purely on impulse. It’s liberating.
Dogs Show Us Unconditional Love
Most of us only ever experience unconditional love from our parents. And many people don’t even get that.
But when you get a dog, that all changes. You soon discover that they will love you, no matter what you do. You can be in a foul mood, and they don’t ask anything of you. They just continue in their merry way, showing you affection.
Perhaps part of the reason we think dogs love us unconditionally is to do with our attitude towards them. We know that dogs don’t have much human understanding. And so we don’t expect high standards from them. A dog can never give you a back-handed compliment or act passive-aggressively. They only have one mode of operation. And so we can’t ascribe ill intentions to them. We can only assume that they have our best interests at heart because, fundamentally, they do.
Dogs are always our friends, no matter what else is going on in our lives. We could be the subject of criminal instigations, and our pups will stand resolutely by our side, no matter what.
Dog Provide Us With Protection
Protection was one of the main reasons people domesticated dogs in the first place. People don’t have big, strong canines, and so we need to outsource biting to other species.
The obvious choice seemed to be dogs. Wolves were everywhere in the ancient world. And they were the top predator in many northern areas. Domesticating them gave tribes animals that they could use to defend themselves.
Today, we get a very similar sense from our dogs. We like the fact that they offer protection and keep us safe. Walking with a dog late at night in a dangerous city is a very different experience from doing it alone.
Dogs Have Puppy Eyes
Finally, dogs seem to know exactly how they should look at us to get what they want. Many people find their cute puppy eyes irresistible and adorable. They compel us to love and take care of them, even though they are perfectly capable of looking after themselves.
For many people, the content in this article will be nothing new. We know that we can’t help but love our dogs. But the psychological underpinnings are often very interesting. Dogs provide many of the features that we look for in loving partners. They’re loyal, open, consistent, and protective.