Characteristics of Love/from Websters dictionary:
1. strong affection 2. warm attachment 3. unselfish loyalty and benevolent concern for others
Wait that sounds like how we would describe dogs!
What do Scientist say: Scientists avoid the subject because part of what sets humans apart from the animals is our ability to experience feelings. To say that animals actually have feelings, in the same way we do, would change everything – perhaps disrupt our entire position and standing in the animal kingdom. (from petcentric)
One Veterinarian is a skeptic, the veterinarian Fred Metzger, of Pennsylvania State University, who claims that dogs probably don't feel love in the typical way humans do. Dogs make investments in human beings because it works for them. They have something to gain from putting so-called emotions out there. Metzger believes that dogs "love" us only as long as we continue to reward their behaviours with treats and attention. (from moderndogmagazine).
What about those dogs that we have seen that have been abused. Obviously they get no reward, but they still wag their tails, happy to see that owner that does not treat them right. Then there are those special bonds we have all heard about – when an owner dies, but his or her dog waits patiently for their return. Such was the case of Greyfriars Bobby, an Edinburg dog who sat by his master's grave for many years, until his death, waiting for his master's return.
In my case this week, when I picked up the dog she was so happy to see me, she wanted to go, never mind about her owner. Was it because she wanted to go out, did she know she would go in the car? But when I brought her back home, she was sniffing in the woods, when her owner opened the door she jetted like a rabbit to her owner, happy as can be.
As I researched this article, I saw the debate:
- The idea that dogs feel emotions, specifically love, is debatable. Though older schools of scientific thought refuted the notion that dogs had human-like feelings, some researchers today believe the subject deserves more attention.
- All mammals, including dogs, have a "pleasure center" in their brains that is stimulated by dopamine, the chemical that regulates feelings of happiness. For example, when a dog is playing fetch, dopamine is released in the pleasure center and the dog is "happy." Since humans have similar brain chemistry, can we assume that dogs and humans are much more alike emotionally than previously thought?
- "Dogs probably don't feel love in the typical way humans do. Dogs make investments in human beings because it works for them. They stand something to gain from putting so-called emotions out there. The more 'cute factor' they give us, the more we feel like they love us.
In the end it does not really matter what we call it or how it happens,
because all it comes down to is:
We need dogs. They do something for us that rarely a human companion can do. No matter how much you mess up your life, or how much wrong you do, no matter how many mistakes you make or how often you make them, regardless of your looks, income or social standing, your dog never judges you. He always thinks you are wonderful!
And you know you love your dog because of that!