Thursday, February 12, 2015

Your Dog: Your True Valentine

You love your dog(s), your dog loves you.  There are those who question whether a dog is actually capable of love. These people believe that dogs just show us the behavior they believe we want to see so we continue to take care of them and look after their wellbeing.  I will be very honest, I question whether those people truly know what love is.

Having been around dogs my entire life and going into our seventh year of running Camp Run-A-Mutt, and literally being around thousands of dogs, I can tell you this: a dogs love is true.

Scientists have revealed that love is a chemical process in the human body when oxytocin is released and taken up by the body's receptors, giving a feeling of euphoria and pleasure that helps people to make connections. Obviously this is stripping love down to the very basics, but dogs also release oxytocin and it too is received and creates the same feelings. The action of petting your dog is the trigger that releases their oxytocin further stimulating the bond between you and your pup.

Others say that dogs just show us the attention we desire so that we feed them, and to some degree that may be true. But even in people, food is a primary drive. So let’s take food out of the equation. After your dog is fed where do they go? My dogs just want to be with me, lay with me, play with me and just be near. If your dog wants to cuddle or spend time with you, this means your dog loves you. It is as simple as that.

If your heart is honest and your love is strong, your dog will be your true Valentine.