If you have never loved a dog you are missing out on so much more than you could ever imagine. If you have never been loved by a dog you are missing out on even more than that. There is a reason that dogs are referred to as "Man's best friend." When you have a dog as part of your family, whether it's just you and the dog, you and a spouse and the dog or you and a family of ten plus the dog, there is a bond there that only a dog lover can truly know. It is a bond that non dog lovers might roll their eyes at the thought of, but to us, the dog lovers of the world it is a bond that we can't imagine life without. Life is full of celebrations and struggles and here are ten reasons dogs are better companions to go through both the good times and the bad times with than most people.
1. They don't judge. That's right dogs don't know what judgment is. They will never say I told you so. Not ever. They will only curl up with you on the couch or the floor and love you for you. They don't care what anyone else on the planet thinks of you. They love you for exactly who you are.
2. They know the right words are no words. When I was pregnant with our first baby we found out that the baby had no heart beat and it was beyond devastating. Everyone searched and fumbled with the "perfect" thing to say when really there wasn't one. There was nothing that anyone could have said to me to make it all better. I didn't need a bandage, I needed a hug. I needed someone to hug me and allow me to cry. I needed someone to say; "I have no clue what to say to you so I am just going to be here for you." Only no one said that except for my dog. He said that. He knew instinctively from the moment I got home after the ultrasound that something was off with me. He didn't leave my side for eight straight hours. He cuddled me while I cried and he followed me when I finally got up to eat. He was my lifeline during one of the most difficult times I have ever faced.
3. They are never moody. Dogs don't wake up on the wrong side of the bed. They are happy to wake up and greet the day. Every. Single. Day. Humans could learn a thing or two from them.
4. They are always up for whatever you want to do. Feel like a run? They're in. Feel like a nap? They could get on board with that. Want to chill out in the sun? In the shade? On the beach? On the couch? All in. All the time. Even friends aren't all in ALL the time. Dogs? Always.
5. They can sniff out people who don't like dogs and they will try to win them over. When people feel like someone doesn't like them they can become very aggressive or very defensive. Dogs on the other hand slowly try to win someone over. They lay by their feet or nudge their hand. I can tell you I have had many guests in my home who have told me they aren't dog people, but by the time they leave they are petting or snuggling our guy. Dogs are real charmers. It's just part of who they are and we love them for it.
6. They feel remorse. No really they do. Have you ever walked in on a dog that just did something bad? There is no denying the oh crap I feel awful about what I just did face. There are about five trillion Internet Meme's to prove this.
7. They love unconditionally. Were you in such a rush in the morning that you left without saying goodbye? Or maybe you snapped at the dog for getting in your way? They will never get mad at you. Not ever. So treat them well.
8. Loyalty. When you love a dog and the dog loves you that love will be forever. There is no breaking up with a dog. A dog doesn't want a pre-up. Dogs don't lose that loving feeling. You have a friend for life and as long as they are breathing they are going to love you.
9. Protection. Sure dogs feel protective of those they love but I don't just mean during scary situations. Dogs feel protection over us when we are sick. They feel it when we are sad. They want to make things better. They want to protect us from being hurt. They instinctively know when we are vulnerable.
10. They want to be loved. People can sometimes put up emotional walls. As humans we are sometimes afraid to feel things. You know because AHHHH feelings. (FYI life is too short not to feel) Dogs remind us that to love is to live. They want to feel affection. They want to feel love and they want to give love. They know that life is too short not to love.
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."
--Josh Billings (a.k.a. Henry Wheeler Shaw; humorist and lecturer)
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
--Roger Caras (photographer and writer)