You’ve heard it a million times, a dog is man’s best friend.
There are dogs that save their owners from burning buildings, service dogs that protect their owners when they have seizures, and dogs that have battled predators to protect children. There are even emotional support dogs that help with the illnesses that you cannot see with the naked eye. We’ve all seen and heard about these dogs, but what about the everyday dog? The dog that you see disobeying its owner when they are calling him/her inside. The dogs that roll around in mud and stink and then run inside to great you. The ones that no matter how many times you try, will not sit on command, and the ones that use their entire 20+ lb frame to take up any size bed.
This is not to say that dogs are bad and you should not own a dog, actually the complete opposite really. But when you are comparing your stinker that does any number of those listed above, or have never owned a dog; it’s natural to question: What really makes dogs so great? They’re just animals, right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong.
What Actually Makes Dogs So Amazing
If you were to ask the owners of these ordinary, average dogs, no surprise (most) of these owners will still tell you the dog is their best friend and/or the best decision they have made in their lives. Even the lazy average dogs, even the sometimes-mischievous ones. There are few things that measure up next to that of a dog.
So, for those of you who don’t currently own a pet and are wondering what make dogs so special; or are just having a frustrating day with yours and need some reassurance, I will break out seven things that dogs do to show us why they are man’s best friend.
1. Dogs Love Unconditionally
I’m sure you have heard this one a million times, but a million times is still not enough to explain how much dogs just love you unconditionally. You are their world who saved them from whatever place they were in before you rescued them. They look at the inside of you and love you for how you treat them. They don’t care what size you are, the color of your hair, or how much money you make!
They love you! Dogs will never complain because the apartment you moved in to save money is crappy, nor will they scoff when you have put on a little extra holiday weight. There are very few people in this world that would do the same. Even better, a lot of breeds will actually SUPPORT you wanting to exercise more by running with you and chasing you around. It’s pretty much your own free personal trainer who doesn’t yell at you to go faster.
2. They can tell when you’re sad
How many times have you a horrible day, you come in and just want to chug a bottle of wine on the couch and forget all your sorrows? Same. For those dog owners though, how many times has that feeling been forgotten when you open your door to see your dog SPRINTING towards you like you are the best thing that happened to them today? A least half the time, right? Yeah, I thought so.
Even better, the other half of the time when you are still frustrated with the world, they are the best support system. Dogs can tell when a human is not themselves, and usually tries to comfort them. There are so dogs that will try to make their owner laugh, some that try and cuddle up with them, and some that will even try to comfort them.
(AGAIN, WHAT DID WE DO TO DESERVE THESE MAJESTIC CREATURES?!?!?)
3. Dogs are always happy to see you
I said this in the topic before, but there are few people in this world who will run, no SPRINT, to the door every time you get home. Regardless of if you were gone for five minutes or five hours they excitement is always there. And it’s pretty hard to not be happy when you see the happiness of your dog radiating from every point of their body when they look at you.
You are their world, and the perfect world to them. And the look in their eyes when they see you says everything that it needs to. You are my EVERYTHING, I appreciate you more than you know. Thank you for coming back to me and I don’t care if we just sit on the couch the rest of the night, I will be excited when you wake up tomorrow morning, and when you come home from work each day.
4. They forgive you, even if they don’t understand
With all stages of parenting, (yes I am calling owning a pet pet-parenting) there comes a time when you have to do something they don’t like. For kids, it’s making them take a bath, eat their vegetables, and brush their teeth. For dogs, it is taking them to the vet, cutting their nails, giving them a bath when they roll around in something horrible smelling outside, and worst of all…leaving them in the middle of the day to go to work!
Dog’s don’t understand that you are cutting their nails, so they don’t hurt themselves or taking them to the vet to keep them healthy or living longer. They especially don’t understand why you need to bath them when they spent so much time and effort into making themselves so delicious, as I have to assume they believe they are doing. (Why else would they choose to roll around in something so stinky?! More to come on this topic later). With kids, eventually, they understand that baths make them feel clean and clean teeth mean no cavities. But don’t really understand, especially because you cannot rationalize with them, as much as many of us pet owners may try to.
That is where the awesomeness that are dogs come into play, even though they do not understand why you are doing the things you are doing, they forgive you moments later. You can give them a bath, but once they are dry you know they will be dashing and zooming around the house. Dog’s don’t understand why you have to leave them every day, no matter how many times you tell them you will be back. Nonetheless, every time you re-enter that door, rather than acting mad that you DARED to leave them for any reason, they are excited and shower you with kisses.
Again, they know you know what is best for them and comply with the owner’s demands, without anger or frustration.
5. They are great listeners
Remember those days when you come home, feel like the world just punched you in the face and when you tried to stand back up it just kept swinging? We all do. Those days when even the funniest dog and cat video can’t make you laugh. That’s when you have the best (and cheapest therapist in the world)
If there are any other crazy animal lovers like me out there in this world (which I know there has to be) sometimes there are conversations you just need to have with your dog! Sure they don’t know who Betty is and why she took your parking spot this morning, or how Martha is years younger than you but married with a kid. But all be darn if they are not some of the best listeners in the world.
They just let you vent all your sorrows out, interrupting only slightly to let out a happy bark or lick here and there. And best of all, you know your secret is safe with them…it’s not like they can go run to the world and spill your secrets. Nope…you eat that peanut butter straight from the jar and tell your dog your plans to take on the world. They are all about it and your number one supporter, especially if you share that peanut butter with them along the way.
6. Dogs always make you laugh
Alright, listen…I know this is a given. There is a reason why cat videos are so popular nowadays. Because let’s face it…pets are freaking HILARIOUS. Dogs chase balls, sleep in weird positions and have amazing fails. I saw a video of a person swimming laps and their dogs desperately leaping into the water to “save” them. I say save them because the person was fine and the dog landed RIGHT on top of the owner in the pool. What makes them even funnier is they don’t try to be funny, the dog shaming phase that has become popular over the time is partly funny because the dogs are just doing them. They don’t poop in the vent to make the house stink because it will be funny or bring the literal biggest stick they can carry home because it will make you laugh…because they are just being the innocent, naïve versions of themselves that bring smiles to our face daily.
And while your pet may not have become famous on Youtube or America’s Funniest Home Videos, I would not be surprised if there were not multiple events that have happened when you look at your dog, shake your head and belly laugh because you cannot believe they did that.
With one of the dogs I had growing up it was when he would NEED to sit next to you, and if by the odd chance you were eating when he came up to you…then it was time for him to eat as well. I remember a time when I was a little kid that he was sitting near me and I was eating popcorn. As I went to put the popcorn in my mouth, my beloved puppy took it right out from under me. And to make things even better, proceeded to lick my face for any residue and starting in on the bowl with the rest of the popcorn.
Actually, I have a bet for you. Go on Youtube, search funniest dog videos, and watch one or two of them. If you do not laugh or at the very least crack a smile…well, then you can say dogs are not the funniest animals in the world. But I would place very good odds on that you are least crack a smile.
7. Dogs make you want to be a better person
This one ties in with unconditional love aspect. Because they love you so unconditionally, you almost feel compelled to be this amazing person that they have created in their heads. I cannot tell you the number of posters I have seen that saying ‘Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are’. And it’s so completely true which is why it is catching on so quickly.
Let’s do an example. Say you are walking your dog in the park, someone is looking at their phone and runs right into you. Sure you may yell at them, but chances are you will probably look down at your dog and not want to make them frightened so roll your eyes and move on. (And they have one of those vent sessions with peanut butter I mentioned earlier to explain to them, had they not have been there…you would have shown that person who’s boss).
Even for me, my pets are actually the driving force that takes me to work every day. (Heck, they are the driving force for me to start writing this blog). I want to be the best person I can be so they can have the best life possible. I want to make enough money that they can live comfortably (even though I know they have no indication as to how much money I am making). But know that you hold these animals lives in your hands makes you think twice before doing something stupid.
In being the better person, dogs also soften your heart. When you see your baby in pain, it breaks you. You never want to see something you care about so dearly even sad. Which then spills out into your routine. It may start with something small like helping a dog that seems lost back to its home. But as time goes on, animals will create a positive domino effect in your life. First, it is something small for a helpless animal, next it is something small for a person like holding open the door for a little longer than you would have liked. Regardless, by your dog loving you unconditionally, you then become a dog softy, which leads to so many more positive moments in your life.
So, while dogs are great for playing fetch and saving kids in wells in movies. They play a much more active role in our lives than we even consider. They are some of the most selfless, caring, loyal creatures to ever walk this face of this Earth and we are lucky enough to get to be their owners.
For those who still wonder what really makes dogs a man’s best friend, it can be summed up fairly simply. They make us better overall. In every aspect of our lives, they make us better…emotionally, physically and mentally. And for the dog owners reading this out there, give your dog a little extra love tonight to remind them that through thick and thin…you are still best friends.