Dogs are some of the best animals out there. It is true that we kind of “created” them, and that that was not necessarily the best thing to do. However, seeing as how we have already done it, we may as well reap the rewards. Man’s best friend. Damn right. There is absolutely nothing like a dog.
Yeah yeah, cat people, I know. I have lived with both, thankfully, and there is no doubt that I personally am a dog person, through and through. I can appreciate cats as wild animals, but are in no way domesticated like dogs, and perhaps therein lies their greatest appeal. They look after themselves, pretty much. And at times when they do exhibit some relationship with humans, it is only as viable as their moods and whims. We’ve all seen them online, right? Cats are great, but they are also wild. I understand the appeal, and it is why I wanted to live with cats earlier in life. And it was fun, for sure. I had a blast with Kreacher, until he died. He wasn’t even technically mine, but we lived together for many years. Cats are cool, but dogs are warm.
Dogs are also a lot more relatable, because they share some conditions and emotions with human beings. And to be able to see this in their eyes, and to experience certain things together – it is a gift of our warped sense of natural order. I don’t know what would have happened had we not domesticated dogs. Wild dogs still roam in Africa, and they are distinctly different than domesticated dogs, in behavior and appearance. The ancestor of both is the wolf, but it is not the same wolf as we know nowadays. It is thought that the link which the two dogs share is instinct.
Dogs also induce the release of the bonding hormone, oxytocin, in the human body. It is a powerful chemical, and it is why there is such an emotional connection between us. It is formed with various interactions and with visual cues. This is also evident in children, and babies. The connections between dogs and humans are many. They are workers, they are pets, they are therapeutic at times, and they are loyal. And you can’t deny that living with an animal which is so close to you (unlike a gecko, for instance) has many advantages. Regardless of their scientific and clinical merit, there is a lot there that deserves attention.