Like a lot of people, I get emails from various sources related to things I like and am interested in. It won’t surprise anyone to hear that I get news from several different places that have information and news about dogs. There are a lot of articles out there about dogs and humans on a regular basis. One that jumped out at me this week, though, promised “5 Ways to Know Your Dog Loves You.”
The title alone left me scratching my head. I guess there are people out there who will read the article, but to me, that seems like common sense. Do people really need an article to figure out if their dog loves them or not? How do you know that your dog loves you seems like a question that’s easy to answer.
Our relationships with people are incredibly complicated. We wonder all the time about what those closest to us really think about us. Let’s face it, as humans, we know what WE think of other people versus what we actually tell them. My husband isn’t going to tell me that a shirt or dress that I put on makes me look fat. He has a strong and healthy sense of self preservation. If my sister asks me if I like her cooking, of course I’m going to say yes, and fortunately, it’s true. But even if she made something that was bad, I’d cushion it in some way so as not to hurt her feelings. My mother hasn’t bothered to call me on my birthday in the last ten years, and I’ve given up trying to understand the whys of that. Come Christmas, she will shower us with gifts, and ask all kinds of questions about what we’ve been up to lately.
The point is that humans are complicated creatures and we’re hard to understand. Sometimes, I think that we expect our relationships with dogs to be just as complex. We forget that the reason we love dogs so much is that our relationships with them are so simple. We come back home with bags, cans or the makings for their food and we fill their basic need for sustenance. When we walk in the door, we greet them with an affectionate pat or head scratch while they are greeting us with wagging tails. Even when we make a mistake, they forgive us and let us know that we’re still the most important person in the world to them. For all of our complexities, dogs suit us because of their simplicity.
It’s no secret that your dog loves you. Every relationship is different and we all have our own ways of showing affection and love, and this is true for dogs, too. But my bet right now is that each person reading this can think of ways that they know their dog loves them. Some dogs want to lick your face, or sit in your lap, while others just want to lean against you and sit on the couch with one paw touching you. I really hope that nobody who is reading this doubts that their dog loves them. No matter how they show it, I think part of the fun of our individual relationships is that we know it for different reasons. I would love to hear how you know that your dog loves you, and I am betting that it won’t take you long to think about how it is that you know.