“I may not be Loved by all human beings but I am sure, I will always get unconditional Love from all the animals I am surrounded with, specially, I would consider Dogs.” ~ S.S.S. Nagarkoti.
I have a pet his name is Max and he is my heart dog. I not only love him but I also love all the animals I am surrounded with, and there is something that always connects animals to me: to the deepest part of my heart and soul. I have always felt that the animals are capable of giving unconditional love.
But most of the time this question always raises in my mind that whether humans are also truly capable of loving someone or something NO MATTER WHAT?
And the answer I mostly get is NO. We, as humans are not capable of loving unconditionally. Everything we do is conditional.
If we find ourselves being cheated or someone not being kind to us, whatever the circumstances, we begin not only to fall out of love but in some cases even start detesting the same person we thought that we loved unconditionally. In this case I always believe that parents have that unconditional love for their children, but many times that also isn’t the case depending on the circumstances.
So I met a few people in my life who always say, animals don’t “LOVE” us… they “NEED” us so it feels like love.
In fact, recent MRI data (dog brain scans) from scientists at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia show that dogs do experience feelings of love and affection. In particular, the MRI data is different when a dog is given treats by a stranger and by someone they have a strong bond with.
But if I consider humans then I would say we as humans can have unconditional love for animals, odd as that is. I suppose it is because they don’t betray us or hurt us on purpose. But Dogs love us unconditionally.
When people say that animals love us unconditionally, they are referring to how some dogs continue to seek human company, attention, and affection; even after being hit, beaten, neglected, and abused by us.
This does not mean that dogs love all people unconditionally, but that they have the capacity to forgive, forget, and love us again even after going through some tough times.
This even does not mean that they do not feel the pain or do not suffer from pain, nor does it mean that they are unaffected by abuse. It only means that they have the ability to bounce back if we Love them again.
On a similar note, some people insist that dogs are incapable of love, because they are animals. These statements always include some dire warning about how attributing these “human feelings” to our dogs is dangerous because it is humanizing our dogs, and this will lead to bad behaviour and an out of control dog.
I fail to see how believing that our dogs are capable of unconditional love is detrimental to anyone.
In the dog training world, there is a fair amount of discussion around humanizing dogs, but very little around de-humanizing dogs. I suppose because dogs are clearly not human, we assume that de-humanizing them is only right and natural.
By dehumanizing our dogs, they automatically become second class citizens, therefore, it becomes more acceptable for us to hit them, shock them, or choke them into submission.
Indeed, we do not want to overly humanize our dogs, because that may lead to miscommunication and misinterpretation of their behaviours, which will hinder the creation of a positive and healthy dog-human bond.
Similarly, we do not want to overly dehumanize our dogs, because that may lead to the same detrimental results.
Training and bonding with my Max (my pet) does not just involve him, it involves me as well, in very big part. Helping my dog improve his behaviour also helped me improve my own behaviour. I learned to control my temper better, to show more empathy, to be more patient, to let things go, and to enjoy the moment.
De-humanizing our dogs demands everything from our dog, and nothing from us. It is just the opposite of love.
So, I always ask myself, whether I love all dogs and animals equally and in exactly the same way? No. But that does not mean that I do not love them. I love each one of them for what they are.
Similarly, I do not require my Max to love me and only me. My Max enjoy being with friends and neighbours who give him pure affection and treats, but that does not lessen the love for me.
I love all dogs and animals. I want to keep them happy, safe, and healthy. To see them happy, safe, and healthy, makes me very happy too. I love spending time with dogs, and I love it when they come over to be with me, whatever their reasons may be. That is more than enough for me.