It’s here! National Pet Month! We know a pet is not just a dog but for us, at NEW PAWSibilities it’s all dogs all the time!
According to a recent American Pet Products Association survey, pet ownership stands at 68% of all U.S. households with dog ownership taking the lead at 48% and cats coming in second at 38% and fish, reptile, horses, and others making up the rest.
Dogs certainly take more time and energy to own and let’s not even talk about cost. So do we spend time, energy, and money, all of which might be in short supply, for our dogs?
They Get Us
A couple of weeks ago I was having a huge panic attack to the point I thought I was having a stroke. I wasn’t, nor any of the other things I thought was happening, but my dog, who never needs to be held, somehow knew I needed him. He let me hold and stroke him and he looked me into the eyes telling me, “You got this. I love you more than you can ever imagine. I won’t leave you until you are ready.”
Body language, facial expressions, and smell. Dogs are sensitive to all of those things and more. They can sense the full range of emotions we as humans experience and they will do whatever is needed to make us feel better. Trust me, my husband doesn’t even try to make me feel better when I have a panic attack. He’s learned to stay away, far, far away. He’s smart.
They Exude Love
Another reason we love our dogs is that they release oxytocin, otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’. This hormonal response creates a bond between you and your dog. Think of it as their very own love potion — it makes it practically impossible for you to resist them.
When we moved here I tried to find a walking buddy. I joined an online group of ladies who would meet at a certain time to walk. Everyone always had an excuse. My circle was practically non-existent so my walking didn’t happen unless I had an errand. And then I got my dog. He is so not an exercise flake! All I have to do is to get on my coat and grab his leash and he is ready to go. Walk? No problem! Run? Sure! Dog park? Let’s go! There is nothing better than outdoor exercise and when I do it with my best friend it’s even better. Exercise, companionship, compliments, and vitamin D.
Doesn’t matter whether it’s a rant about some injustice in the world, a good cry about a loss of a friend, or a movie review, my dog is always going to listen to me. When he stares in my eyes after I say, “Listen, listen, listen,” he does! He stares deep in my eyes and hangs on to every word. The other male living in my house doesn’t. Hardly ever.
Endless Love played every hour on the radio back in the day when Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross were at their peak. Yes, I admit it. I sang it at weddings. Do you want an example of endless love? Dogs run to greet you at the door when you come home. They dance with excitement when they see you. And they’re always deliriously ecstatic when you lean down to give them a hug or a treat. Now that’s endless love.
Did We Mention Unconditional?
I have made so many mistakes in my life, heck just yesterday. But my dog cares about one thing. Me. Was I too lazy to walk him or I failed to give him a treat because I forgot to buy them? They are so forgiving and all they want is us. They love unconditionally, no strings attached. They don’t care about any mistakes you’ve made throughout the day. All they want is YOU. They love you unconditionally. And that is the ultimate reason why we love dogs SO much.
That’s good news. The bad news is that every year according to the ASPCA 3.3 dogs are in shelters in any given day. That means 3.3 million do not get to be loved the way they are meant to love. But you can make a difference.
Every single day there is a dog at NEW PAWSibilities who is waiting for you. Puppies, seniors, and pretty much any age you’d like. Please consider coming in and meeting some of our wonderful dogs so that you can celebrate National Pet Month!