A strong and unspoken bond has existed between human beings and dogs for centuries. Even prehistoric man considered dogs to be ideal companions, a fact that is attested by numerous cave paintings and ancient remains. What is it about these animals that brings comfort to our hearts and spontaneous fun into our lives? No doubt there are many factors that contribute to our enduring relationship with them, but most of them are connected with the way that dogs, if treated with love, will reflect that love back to us unconditionally.
The bonds that we form with our canine friends can connect us to a whole world of experience that we otherwise might miss out on in our fast-paced and highly technological society. When a dog stops along a woodland path to investigate a scent or sound, then our attention is drawn there as well. Such experiences bring us in touch with the movements and rhythms of nature, which otherwise can escape our notice in our daily lives. Dogs bring a piece of the wilderness into our homes, and remind us of where we came from.
In effect, they bring nature back into our lives. Their response in the moment is immediate, complete and uninhibited – regardless of the situation. They aren’t burdened with the kind of self-consciousness and reflection that can sap so much of the energy and joy out of our lives. Spending time with dogs, we can begin to tap into that sense of spontaneity and abandon ourselves. Dogs may shy away from certain people or experiences, or react with fear or aggression, but they don’t judge. Once they make up their minds to love us, it will take quite a lot for us to fall out of favor with them.
Because they are so uninhibited, dogs can be ideal icebreakers in our social world. We may feel the impulse to approach someone and then consider a dozen reasons why we shouldn’t, but our canine friends have no such scruples. They express their interest in other people as freely as they express everything else. As a consequence of this, we may suddenly find ourselves engaging in a conversation with a nice and attractive fellow dog-walker in the park. Believe it or not, many an entangled leash has led to a first date or new friendship. Dogs not only can initiate conversation with their very presence, but also give us plenty of things to talk about with people who might otherwise remain strangers.
The connection that exists between dogs and their owners is very old, instinctive, and unconditional. It is also uncomplicated, which can be a very heartwarming thing in this oft-times confused and troubled age. Dogs are present with their feelings and needs in ways that we are oftentimes afraid to be. We can learn a lot from them in that regard, and they’re likely to be patient and forgiving teachers. The effort that they demand from us in terms of feeding, exercise, and attention they repay many times over with loyalty, affection, and sheer enthusiasm for our presence in their lives.