I believe the bond we develop with our dogs is so special because dogs are as capable of loving us as we are of loving them, if not more. They show us so much unconditional love. Some people say dogs only show us love because we feed them and give them treats etc. well I totally disagree! I have been a dog owner and dog lover for over 30 years and have seen and felt the love they give.
I was 16 when I got my first dog, so little, riddled with worms and fleas he was going to be drowned in a bucket by a not so nice person. After pleading with my strict father to let me have him it was one of the best blessings I could have wished for. Building that special bond from day one, holding that little six week old puppy in my arms, running home with him zipped up in my jacket as fast as my legs could carry us, taking him to safety to be loved and looked after for as long as possible. Almost 18 years until the day I held him in my arms for the very last time when I had to make the hardest decision of my life. He was old and wobbly on his legs, his eye sight was poor and he became deaf (just like an elderly person). He was 18 years old when I had to send him to Heaven due to his kidneys failing. That was so hard for me to do, heart breaking, truly heart breaking and there wasn’t a single moment when I didn’t think of him and miss him but I carry him with me always in my heart and mind.
At that time of losing my old faithful friend, all those special years we spent together, I never wanted another dog, I thought it would be unfaithful and betraying him, he was my special friend that could never be replaced. Then after a few months of endless days and nights of missing him, missing that warm loving greeting each time I came back home no matter how long or short Id been gone, a good friend said to me “ you are not replacing your dog with another, you know he can never be replaced but think of the love you can give another dog that really needs it!”. So there I was visiting dog shelters until I eventually found her, or rather she found me. She was just ten months old and hadn’t settled in any new home and had been bullied by other dogs, not sure what else she had been through as she was quite timid too and would jump or cower down at the slightest noise. With me she stuck by my side from day one! I needed her and she needed me! Her confidence was low to begin with but that special bond came in just weeks. She knew I was there for her, she knew I would never hurt her and she knew she was in her forever home.
The love she gave to me was so unconditional and I did everything I could to show her the same. She was in my life for just over 17 years. Since then I have another 3 dogs, one who is a Romanian rescue dog so her journey for the first six months of her life was not a good one… now she is safe, loved and has her forever home! The three of them are now one little happy family, although it did take time for them to bond with each other too.
Research has shown that when dogs are in physical contact with their owners, their brains release the ‘pleasure chemical’ dopamine in exactly the same way as human brains do when we feel happy and relaxed. Like all dog lovers, I have been subjected to the big brown eyes routine, they just melt my heart when they put those eyes on and yes I give in almost every time.
Dogs do show love, unconditional love and they do show emotions and it doesnt take a genius to see that or feel that. If only humans showed the same unconditional love, what a fantastic world it would be… not having to impress anyone or prove yourself to others just to fit in or to look good, just being yourself, living in the moment. A dogs love is so unconditional, they are so loyal, faithful and true! They dont care if you are having a really bad hair day, have the biggest boil on the end of your nose or a huge hole in your jumper (that they probably caused ha ha)… but no matter how much you care about what other people think, just look in the eyes of your loving companion, they just care about you, they just want to love you, please you and be there by your side… so just be you! Be happy with who you are and with that special friend you have in your life!
Love unconditionally….. and show your little companion(s) just how much you love them too!