The more dogs and dog owners I meet, the more I am fascinated by the deep emotional connection between dogs and humans. Dogs accept us in spite of our flaws, our insecurities and our mistakes. Dogs display a sense of devotion and affection which cannot be measured, but can certainly be felt.
Recently, I was speaking with a number of young dog owners. An eleven year old dog lover, shared a touching story about her dog. She said whenever she was sad her dog would crawl onto her lap and lick away her tears. We will never know for sure whether her dog felt her emotions, but she is convinced her dog wanted to make her feel better.
Her friends knew exactly what she was saying. One remembered when she was five years old and was scared to walk on the trail to Norman Lake. She recalled how her dog, pressed tightly against her side as they hiked the beach trail. Was the dog really feeling her fear? Did the dog want to reassure this young girl that everything would be ok? She is convinced that her dog was sending her a message of reassurance.
Another friend, told us about her dog. “Whenever I arrive home from school, she greets me at the doorway. I’m sure she knows when I going to be home even before I open the door. It’s weird, but my dog just always seems to be there when I need her.”
Every dog person has experienced moments like these. Do dogs really understand our moods? Do they simply read our body language and respond? None of us can know for sure, but make no bones about it; our lives would not be as rich or as wonderful if we didn’t have our canine companions!
Take some time this week and share an ‘almost springtime’ walk with your canine pal. If the air smells particularly fresh, and you feel a youthful bounce in your step, then perhaps you can get a sense of what it might be like to be “Feeling like a Dog”.