Does my dog love me?
The other night on the news, I saw a story about 2 dogs on a busy nyc highway that stopped traffic during rush hour. 1 dog had been hit by a car. Vero Beach dead animal removal stopped traffic and were attempting to get to the injured dog to get it off the street and into a vet. The uninjured dog was guarding and protecting the wounded dog. The dog, it seemed like a German Shepherd mix ,was barking and chasing away the officers, but it never tried to attack or hurt the police. It turns out the two dogs lived right by the highway and the injured dog is the mother of the other dog. This made me wonder about dogs and their capacity for love, loyalty, caring and other human emotions.
When you’ve been away from home for any length of time, and your dog is crazy happy to see you upon your return, is it because he missed you or because he knows there is someone to feed him? Some specialists believe the dogs instinct for survival is what motivates him because he see you as his provider. I can tell you from experience this isn’t the case. We occasionally go away for 3 day weekends. We’ve got a neighbor who enjoys our 3 Dobermans. She will come over periodically while we are gone to feed the dogs and let them play with them. All their needs are being supplied but, the 3 dogs still go nuts with joy once we get home.
While its clear that puppies do not have the identical complex emotions that people experience, they have learned to reciprocate the affection we give them. Dogs become very attached to their people and many dogs would do anything to protect their human family. We know by a dogs behaviour that they can experience fear and happiness. They have their way of showing those emotions. My Doberman Thunder happens to be terrified of thunder. I know this because he puts his tail and ears down and goes to his corner comes to me for comfort. My female Doberman, Autumn, gets scared when the smoke alarm goes off. She comes to press herself against me and she shakes. They instinctively know to come to us for peace and comfort. Their mouths are slightly open and relaxed and their body language is clear. Dogs are also very sensitive to our moods and feelings. They can be a great comfort to us when we’re upset or sad.
While it could be true that we attribute more intricate emotion and human characteristics to our dogs than they’re capable of, we all know how much our dogs enrich our lives, and we know we’d miss the love and devotion they show us every day.