Scott's Soapbox

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Just Why Do Dogs Rule?

Because they've got us all figured out:
Psychologist Brian Hare of Harvard has also studied the human-animal bond and reports that dogs are astonishingly skilled at reading humans' patterns of social behavior, especially behaviors related to food and care. They figure out our moods and what makes us happy, what moves us. Then they act accordingly, and we tell ourselves that they're crazy about us. "It appears that dogs have evolved specialized skills for reading human social and communicative behavior," Hare concludes.
We all know this, secretly...we know they cannot love THAT much to make us feel as though we are the only star in their sky. Of course, I do believe dogs have feelings too, and that they are capable of feeling love and affection just like humans. But the overwhelming nature of their dedication is something we find strange in humans- hence the phrase "puppy love" for those overwhelmed by a crush. My apologies to a certain someone freshman year, whom I pathetically followed around campus like a dog wagging his tail looking for a treat. She even said once, "Look what I've brought home." At least I ended up dating her roommate. Who then turned out to think she might be a lesbian. But I digress...where was I? Dogs? Right, dogs.

As Jon Katz puts it in the piece on the subject: "Ah, we think, at last, the love and loyalty we so richly deserve and so rarely receive." There is nothing more loyal than a dog, and for me, that is the essence of their appeal. Provide some food and water, the occasional walk, and a much enjoyed scratch under the collar, and you have a friend for life. I know some people are cat people, and many have told me they value their cat's "independence." They actually like the fact that their cat doesn't seem to need them and can go about their business for the most part on their own. Independent beings who do not seem to need me bring me back to dating and the discussion above. If only I could have wooed my freshman crush with only Milk-Bones and a fancy collar. Alas, women seem to want more, which I suppose is a good thing for all concerned.


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