Dogs Provide Visible Love
|Dogs Provide Visible Love|
In many human relationships, our feelings for each other are assumed. We speak of our love and show our love far less than we are capable of because we don’t even think about it, or because it’s easier or safer to assume that it’s understood. But dogs have no hesitation to show their affection. They do not worry about hiding their feelings, and in the process they not only show us that we are appreciated but remind us to share our feelings for those around us—canine or human.
THERE WASN’T A LOT of room for affection in Joe’s work. Before shipping home, the Oregon National Guardsman patrolled the streets of Baghdad. But there was Daisy, a scrawny mutt who hung around the army base. Daisy had made friends with the last unit to occupy the base, and as Joe and the rest of the 162nd Infantry arrived, soldiers asked the new troops to take care of her. Officially it was against the rules. But no one saw the value of forcing Daisy out into a grim future on the streets of the city. Soldiers had been slipping Daisy some military rations, but she didn’t start to fill out until Joe had his wife ship him a case of dog food. Daisy meant so much to Joe and his fellow troops that when it was time to return to the United States, Joe wanted Daisy to come home with him. With Daisy unwelcome on a military flight, Joe researched a private carrier that could get Daisy from Iraq to Kuwait and, after several more stops in between, eventually to Oregon. It was an unusual commitment to make, but Joe had no doubt. “Daisy helped us get through that experience. For everybody in the unit, Daisy was a little bit of love, a little bit of hope in our day,” Joe says.
In one study nearly all dog owners said that they could think of an example of their dog showing them affection that day, while only four out of ten could think of an example of a human showing them affection that day. (Roth 2005)