Makes the World Go ‘Round

Last night I was talking with my friend, and the conversation turned to dogs. That just happens to be one of my favorite topics.

He said that dogs don’t feel “love” the way humans do, and to assume that would be incorrect and a personification. He expected me to disagree with him – but I don’t, I agree. Love is a very complicated emotion, and dogs have tiny brains. Who knows how dogs really feel?

On the other hand, I do understand the pack mentality. I’ve read lots of books and lived in a pack for the last decade. And I can say with confidence that my dogs’ natural desire to…

0ee8245decdc.jpg Move with me…
img_7764.JPG Be still with me…
day-52.JPG Communicate…
12-18-07.JPG Show affection…
img_8296.JPG Impress…
img_8463.JPG Protect…
img_7934.JPG Chill…
img_8589.JPG and play with me…all of these things feel like love.
425261156_e073bbe6dc_o.jpg It probably isn’t really “love”, but it’s a close second, and I know they give me the best their tiny brains will allow.

Which makes me love them back.


30 comments on “Makes the World Go ‘Round

  1. I think you’re right, Staci: it’s probably not what we humans consider love (as if that’s a unified concept for us all, anyway!), but it’s affection, loyalty, belonging, all those things. I wonder if too much thinking–too much humanness–sometimes gets in the way of “love”. I think dogs have the right idea; live in the moment, go for what you want, stay close to those who are good to you, nap when you must, etc. 🙂

  2. That was the sweetest post ever. My little Moose just left me a week ago (5 years old–way too soon) and I have no doubt that he had some strong sense of doggie love for me. We went everywhere together. A house without dogs is not a home, it’s just a cleaner house. 🙂

  3. First, I have to tell you that I LOVE your dogs and I always look forward to reading about their antics! I think that all of the actions you just described are the components of love. Smooches and belly rubs to the boys.

  4. You are absolutely right, on every point. My husband and I have only had our dog for 3 years but I most certainly am part of a pack…a small one, but a pack non the less.

  5. Bailey’s only lived with me for a month, but the house is as much his as mine and one only has to witness his greeting after I’m gone for only an hour to know that he is filled with doggie love!

  6. That is an incredible photo story. You should win a prize for that!

    I loved it. My favourite story is dogs as well, I often warn people not to get me started.

    I think my dog is capable of human-type love… but only for food! (hee hee)

  7. Actually, I have read that scientists have now decided that the part of their brain that determines emotions is very much like the human brain. And that they DO experience emotions like ours. I know for sure they experience jealousy and depression, why not love? Scientists have also discovered that they were wrong about dogs seeing in black and white—they see almost all of the same colors that we do. That would explain why Allie has always wanted to play with all the yellow toys and not the other colors.

    Debbie B-T

  8. I do believe dogs have a sense of happiness. I feel mine are very happy to see me and to be by me at all times. As evidenced by the wagging, licking and “smiling”! I guess I figured they didn’t have to love me, they just let me love them! Very lovely post!

  9. I think they definitely love us, in their own way.

    If these photos are anything to go by, your dogs are head-over-heels for you! Sooooo cute.

  10. This is such an awesome post, Staci! Don’t know what I liked best…reading it, or reading it over again…

  11. I totaly agree. Your post made me all mushy and want to go home and be with my boys. They might not know our version of love but they sure can express thiers.

  12. Awesome. And so true. As much as I’d like to think Raisin loves me like I love her, I know its different. You hit it on the nail when you say its all about The Pack.

    Can we be a pack of two? Do Raisin and I need that little black and white baby boy to be a pack? Decisions, decisions.

  13. Lovely post. I have to agree with you, although I don’t claim to know much about how dogs feel. I do, however, know cats and I can tell you that they have similar actions. I’m always comforted by the fact that my cats sense my emotions and react accordingly. When I’m down, they’re always willing to give me love and when I feel sick, they’re always there to comfort me. Or maybe, when I’m sick, they’re just thrilled I’m staying in one place and they can use me as their heated bed. Regardless, they give me love and comfort unconditionally which is why I adore them!

  14. For the first time in at least 30 years, I have a dog in my life. My parents got a puppy this summer, and we are all smitten with her. I know she loves me–it makes me so happy to see her go nuts when I visit.

  15. Although I do agree with you about “the pack”, I also disagree only because when we have conversations about dogs and kids- there actions, behaviors, and moods seem to be VERY similar. So, maybe it’s not a mature love but I do think it’s a strong form of one. And Ike needs some squishin!

  16. You got it right and it is love, because why else would they do all the things that they do for us? They love us unconditionally, no matter what. Why couldn’t humans be that way?


  17. Good post Staci. You make good points, but I truly believe that they love. Animals have emotions, and I think love is included with that package.
    I also think that they can go in and out of love just like humans do; if they are not treated well, there’s no love. . . get my drift?

  18. I have to disagree with some of the comments (or at least play a little devil’s advocate). I don’t really think it’s love that our dogs give to us. I think it feels like love, but it’s really all of the elements of the pack mentality that we interpret as love. There is closeness and commitment (even if the dogs aren’t treated well by their owner), but it’s all part of their inherent need to be in a harmonious pack.

    I think it’s important to respect the fact that dogs are dogs. Not lesser creatures in any way, however. But to personify them would be doing them a disservice.

    Does it really matter, though? I know my dogs enjoy their life with me, and give me all they can. That makes me love them with every bit of my human heart.

  19. Staci,that was beautiful and very well put. My life would not be the same without doggie love. They sure make our life more complete, huh?

    “Why a dog is better than a man”

    Dogs don’t feel threatened by your intelligence.

    Dogs are already in touch with their inner puppies.

    Dogs are very direct about wanting to go out.

    Dogs think you are a culinary genius.

    You can house train a dog.

    Dogs feel guilt when they’ve done something wrong.

    Middle-aged dogs don’t feel the need to abandon you for a younger owner.

    Dogs mean it when they kiss you.

    Dogs don’t care whether or not you shave your legs.

    Dogs obsess about you as much as you obsess about them.

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