More than obedience
Teeth into floating wood
Then bound back to their owners
Shining wet, with passionate speed
For absolutely nothing but joy.”
The above stanza belongs to the poem ‘The Dogs at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz’ written by Alicia Ostriker in which she beautifully pictures the owner-dog interactions and calls it a “…world of absolute innocence”. The connection between Dogs and Humans was acknowledged long back in history. As per the definition given by Wikipedia “Human–canine bonding is the mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between humans and dogs that is studied by psychologists, anthropologists, and ethologists.” It’s said that Dogs are the domesticated descendants of wolves and have a significant impact and role in human lives.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association the human–canine bond is influenced by emotional, psychological, and physical interactions that are essential to the health and well-being of both people and dogs. The AVMA officially recognizes that the human-animal bond exists, that it has existed for thousands of years, and that it has had a major impact on veterinary medicine.
For those of you who are already enjoying the company of these furry friends and for those who do not yet have one, we have gladly tried to list some scientifically proven and true-to-life benefits that dogs brings to our lives!
1. They De-stress you.
show that interacting with and petting your pups is often accompanied by lower blood pressure which means a lowered risk for a myriad of different illnesses. Click the link to read the details of the study:
Based on a study published in the “International Journal of Workplace Health Management”, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that, bringing your dog to work can actually help relieve stress.
Moreover, according to the American Heart Association, owning a dog may even protect you from heart disease.
Spending just 20-30 minutes with your dog helps you in relaxing and reducing your stress.
2. They Love Unconditionally.
Even though you have yelled at them because you had a face-off during an office meeting or a fight with your partner and you weren’t in a good mood, you know that you can trust them for being there for you! They might get upset for a moment or so but their love for you is not dependent upon your mood-swings. Just as the Sun is shining, a dog is loving!
3. They Teach You what a warm welcome is.
“and now he’s howling like a beagle – yips, brays,
gagging growls – and scratching the sill paintless,
that’s how much he’s missed you, the two of you,”
(Mongrel Heart, by David Baker)
You have been out for ten minutes just to visit a store in the neighborhood but they’ll greet you when they see you back home as if it’s been a century. Sometimes, given their strong sense of smell and hearing, they will recognize the horn sounds of your car and rush towards the main door, when you are still a few meters away from the house.
4. Happiness is in Simple Things.
Dogs get so excited over the simplest things – sticks, cricket balls, discarded food wrappers, a trip to the corner shop, a long walk, brownies– that you learn from them the value of simplest of things. They make you appreciate the little things in life. These waggy-tailed friends come with a promise that no one is allowed to be sad when they are around.
5. The Best Solitude Partners.
According to self psychology, an animal can be a “self-object” that gives a sense of cohesion, support, or sustenance to a person’s sense of self. Self-psychology explains why some animals are so crucial to a person’s sense of self and well-being.
There are moments when we want to be all alone and don’t feel like sharing our thoughts with anyone. Your dog can be your best-partner in those moments as it will quietly just sit beside you with all the compassion in those shiny eyes. And won’t let you feel lonely in your solitude!
6. They Teach you how to Forgive and Forget.
The responsibility, selflessness, activeness and alertness, patience, and commitment that come with having a dog, makes us all-around better people. This relationship is a two-way street in real sense. Dogs have proved that they ameliorate our physical and mental health, as well as the health of those around us. They forget quickly and forgive easily. Just one cuddle, a long walk, a long-drive or their favorite sausage and they will forget that they were upset with you!
7. Inculcate Compassion and Selfless Love.
“all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.”
(A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda)
Have you heard the story of Bobbie the Wonderdog? You’d be amazed to know that he traveled a whopping 2,800 miles to return to his family after accidentally being abandoned across the country. So, hello, here is a love that will go to great lengths–2,800 miles to be exact–to find their humans!
These are extremely intelligent creatures and can sense human body language, emotions, and feelings which paves the way for an unbreakable bond. They teach the humans the lesson of being compassionate and understanding towards our fellow beings.
8. Perfect Cuddles.
Nothing in life can beat a night on the sofa or in bed, snuggled up with a cup of soothing coffee in hand and your arm around a snoozing pooch. Your pup will calm your mind and release all your worries just by that one simple but perfect cuddle and wait, they won’t fake anything.
9. Keeps You Active.
Dogs are always active and alert. Taking them out for walks, playing with them in lawn—all these things keep you physically active as well. Also, playing with your pup increases your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility.
10. Incredible Loyalty.
“…loyal to being on your own in the fur of your skin,
able to exist only for the sake of existing.”
(Over and Over Tune, by Ioanna Carlsen)
Dogs are well-known for their unexpectedly strong loyalty. Know that they are your most Loyal friends and that too without any expectations. This loyalty is in their skin and nature has blessed them with it. Besides this, they make perfect watchdogs. Potential burglars are put off by a barking or watching dog in the window. Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Scottish Terriers are some top watchdog breeds. But don’t underestimate that fluffy American Eskimo Dog. They too are great at alerting the families of anything suspicious!
Need we write more? Okay, then here are a few lines for you from a poignant poem by Robert William Service:
“From all thought of self above,
And purged of sex emotion,
I know no form of living love
So deep as dogs devotion.
I have no hope at all of heaven,
I’ve lived in sin and strife;
But thank God! I at least have given
One dog a happy life!”