Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | March 4, 2009

Why do we Love thee??

Tony the People Lover

Tony the People Lover

My name is Tony and I am a very curious 3 month old puppy.  While waiting around for my new family to adopt me I have been reflecting upon my origins, as well as why I LOVE people SO much.  My siblings and I were recently rescued by Second Chance Humane Society and we all find the best part of our day is when the staff and volunteers play with us and shower us with affection. 

I don’t understand it – they are so tall, slow, furless, and although they provide us with food and shelter there must be another reason that we adore them so deeply.  And why would they get so excited to be with us – they have to pick up our poop and the toys we shred, we jump all over them and try to leave our teeth marks in their hands in our excited play.  Why are we human’s best friends and how long has this connection existed?

I turned to science for my answers – as I am sure there are many spiritual, emotional, logical, and meta-physical answers floating about – but I chose to use scientific study and evidence to determine an answer that the broadest audience can swallow. Unfortunately I don’t have space in this column to cite my sources but the discussion below is backed by anthropological findings and scientific research, of which I am a fan of. 

I found that the domestic dog, which has been determined to originate from the Old World wolf, began developing an interdependent relationship with humans some 15,000-40,000 years ago when the chumming about with nomadic hunters led to benefits to both species.  As the wolf was transforming into the domesticated dog and realizing that life was easier when hunting or scavenging with these bipedal wonders – biological changes further occurred to secure this relationship and an “inborn liking” between the two species emerged. 

Dogs physical features transformed in a way that elicited the biologically natural nurturing hormones and tendencies of humans.  Our facial features flattened, our eyes lowered, and we took on a more innocent and infant-like quality.   We also developed an inherent skill at reading the body language of humans and, beyond any other species (even chimpanzees), we can determine and respond to direction and communication from humans.  Such changes in our appearance and nature correlated with the almost universal love that humans now feel for dogs.  Across cultures and ages there is evidence of an emotional bonding between our species. 

So essentially, human and dog were “made for each other”.  What a wonderful concept that explains so much.  And if we extend this concept a bit further, integrating it with the spiritual component that “there is a particular dog out there waiting for you”, well it explains how so many adopters that I see come through the shelter doors seem to know exactly which dog is “theirs”.  Sometimes you can almost hear the “click” that happens when an adopter meets the dog that they go home with.  Others tend to second guess and not trust this and it takes them a bit longer but most matches really do appear “purposeful”.

Ok, enough of this mumbo jumbo, I am adorable, energetic, lovable and if you recognize me as “your” new dog – come down to the shelter to confirm your hypothesis.

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance, Volunteer & Foster Care, or other Programs.  Visit our shelter pets online: www.secondchancehumanesociety.org.  Direct Pet Column questions to:  kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.orgPhoto by Real Life Photographs.

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