Why We Love Dogs

Why We Love Dogs So Much

Plain and simple: dogs are God’s gift to this earth. There is nothing that makes a heart smile more than a dog with a cocked head and searching eyes does. There is something truly incredible about the way dogs make us feel and, simply put, it is therapeutic.

Around campus, dogs are usually greeted with gasps, pointing, and fawning. There is a reason for this obsession. According to an article on Psychology Today, there is a concept called “biophilia,” which means that we are all genetically programmed to interact with nature. We seek a connection and relationship with living things.

We have an internal yearning for these connections and relationships, not only with our peers, but with animals and what better animal is there than a dog (cat people will debate, but I think the paws have it)?

Biophilia, the article suggests, could be the reason that we don’t find dog slobber as disgusting as it really is, or why petting a dog is extremely soothing and comforting. Interacting with animals is proven to lower blood pressure and brings a sense of calmness and awareness that we really cannot achieve on our own.

We don’t mind picking up after our dogs or wearing a blanket of dog hair sheddings on our outfits of the day because they truly know how to love unconditionally and all we want is for them to be happy. If that means getting covered in dog hair after rubbing their bellies and scratching their ears, so be it.

No matter what we look like day by day or how we speak, our dogs don’t judge us. They truly are a man’s best friend, but, furthermore, they are just exemplary of a phenomenal friend. They give you undivided attention, they listen to you (for the most part), and they are always there when you need them. A little nudge of the nose or a lick on the face are all we really need to cheer up and our dogs know just when to provide it.

I always found it fascinating that dogs can sense exactly when you need these pick-me-ups. If I am upset, my dog knows; that is incredible. Perhaps that has to do with this biophilia—something internal that relates humans with dogs so that we are emotionally connected too. While I am not sure just how this connection is made, dogs have an incredible sense of knowing when something is wrong.

If I am crying or if I am angry, my dog knows to try to comfort me and calm me. A specific example that I have seen not only in my life, but have heard about in others, is when you cry, dogs have an instinct to come over and start licking you in the face. Some may say they just like to lick the salty tears, but I am more of a believer in that they’re trying to wipe the tears away as fast as they can so that they stop and we can be happy.

Regardless of any scientific reasons like biophilia, it is safe to say that there is a unique relationship between humans and dogs. They really care about us and we should always return the favor and care equally as much.

Josh Billings, a famous nineteenth century writer, once wrote, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” A dog will do anything for its owner, but would you do anything for your dog?

PHOTO TAKEN by Lauren Niesz