Dogs often inspire humans in ways that we don’t think about consciously. We sometimes take what they give us for granted. Sitting back and looking at our interactions with these wonderful animals can make us realize how truly inspirational dogs can be. They can teach us the most basic life lessons in a very pure, unassuming way.
Dogs know how to keep us company. Granted, they can’t talk to us in words the way we do with each other, but they are steady and always there when we need them to be. They ask very little in return and happily stay by our side with no question or judgment. They don’t burden us with emotional baggage or betrayal, and they know how to give of themselves unconditionally. Dogs like being around their humans; it makes them content to simply have you nearby.
Although it may not seem like dogs are patient when they bark for attention, jump around anxiously to go out, or grumble for food, think about how many times they patiently wait for us to play with them, feed them or give them a little attention on our busy days. Dogs are usually much more patient than our human children.
When we agreed to foster a friend’s dog almost two and a half years ago, we didn’t think he’d still be with us today, but he is. Dozer is actually a great dog and he will remain with us for as long as he needs a home. He’s loving, smart, and ‘almost’ willing to do what we ask of him. I say almost because it’s taken us this entire time to teach him to come to us when he’s called. I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible he was punished in the past when he did come, and that’s the best way to teach a dog to not come when called. I understand it can be hard dealing with an independent spirit some dogs have, but people don’t always understand how their actions are viewed by a dog, nor do they understand why their dog misbehaves or won’t follow commands. Sometimes you have to step back and try to get into the head of a dog to try and see things from his viewpoint. Sometimes dogs need us to be understanding.
Dozer is a handsome and sweet pit bull mix. He loves to cuddle, and when he was a puppy he spent many evenings cuddled up with his owner on the couch. But sometimes things change and for Dozer, the changes began when his owner moved into a house that didn’t allow pets. Dozer found himself spending most of his time outside, away from his human. When he was allowed inside, it was to a crate on the back porch. Not because he was bad, but because that was the only solution available to my friend who was trying to figure out how to keep his dog. Dozer was about a year and a half when he came to stay with us.
Change is hard for us, so you can imagine how it can affect a dog, especially one that’s sensitive or timid. Dozer came into a home with multiple dogs and cats. He had to learn how to interact with them and us. His routine was drastically different and he was very unsure and confused about what was happening to him. As far as he was concerned, he had been abandoned by the person he loved.
Dozer has a confident independent streak, but he can easily get his feelings hurt. We teach dogs basic commands and reward them with their favorite CANIDAE treats. They reward us by learning how we expect them to behave. Training a sensitive dog requires understanding, calmness, and time for a dog to learn at his own speed.
Earning your pet’s trust isn’t a given. You have to work at developing a friendship with your pet just as much as you do with a person. With trust comes respect and bonding, and once a pet gives you their unconditional love, they will never break it. Our pets give us a pure and sincere love for their entire lifetime.
There’s no question in my mind that animals are a lot smarter than they are given credit for. Pet owners who have a strong bond with their dog or cat witness firsthand the remarkable and sometimes even amazing abilities they have. In a study on the loyalty of dogs, researchers had two people sit side by side in a room. One person was the dog’s owner and the other person was a stranger. There were two colored plastic cups turned upside down over a dog treat; when the dog was brought in, both people pointed at the cup beside them. Researchers wanted to see if a dog would follow the pointing finger of a stranger. Each time the dog came into the room, he responded only to his owner and ignored the stranger’s pointing finger. The researchers concluded this shows how much dogs trust their owners.
Loyal dogs will do whatever is needed to protect the ones they love. I had the dogs outside in their pen late one night, several years ago. We had a fresh layer of snow on the ground which made it as still as a mouse sensing a cat. Suddenly, a coyote was standing on the other side of the pen staring in at us. The dogs were nervous and made no sound as they gathered around me as though they were protecting me. I could tell they were nervous, though, and they also wanted me to protect them. But I have no doubt that if the coyote had tried to get into the pen, he would have had to deal with my dogs. Needless to say, we quickly went back inside the house.
Our pets give us unconditional love with no hesitation. Dogs protect our homes as well as their pack leader and the rest of their family. Eager ears listen for the sound of our vehicles as we return home, and we are greeted at the door every time as if we’ve been gone for months. Most cats are more independent and dignified in their greetings. They would never lower themselves to the level of a dog by giving us wet kisses. Cats show their affection with a nip on the nose, a lick on the arm or head rub on our leg or face. Yet their happiness when we return home equals that of the dog, even though they exhibit the cool attitude of a cat. However, cats and dogs have one thing in common. They trust us, sometimes when it’s not deserved. So what is trust?
The trust our pets give to us is non negotiable as far as they are concerned. Dogs work with humans to aid policemen and rescue workers digging through piles of rubble after an earthquake or other natural disaster hits a region. They help the blind and handicapped lead productive lives on their own. Therapy cats and dogs help hospitalized children and those in nursing homes cope with day to day challenges. The only thing pets ask from us in return is to care for their needs and treat them with respect and kindness.
Every time I gaze into the eyes of one of my pets, I see trust. They know I would never do anything to hurt them. What we think of as responsibility, they see as trust, but it’s deeper than just us taking care of a pet. It’s knowing them so well that we instantly know if they don’t feel good, are frightened, curious or something is bothering them. Trust is also being able to look into the eyes of a pet who is sick and know, because they are telling us, it’s time to let them go. Trust is an emotional bond between owner and pet. It’s not something we think about, it’s just there. You can’t explain it, you just feel it.
A cat will curl up in your lap with a gentle purr not because you fed him, but because he trusts you. Of course the food doesn’t hurt, but he won’t sit on the lap of someone he doesn’t trust. A dog will fight an intruder to protect his owner because of trust. They curl up at our sides or at our feet because they want to be near us. Our lives are enriched because we share them with our pets. They know when we are happy or sad and share our sorrows and joys. It all comes from trust.
The elements of trust means something different to our pets than it does to us and probably means something different to each of us as responsible pet owners. It’s much more than making sure they’ve been fed and watered or they’ve had their walk and the cat pan is clean. It’s a snuggle, a happy tail wag or gentle purr as we interact with them. It’s a passion we feel for doing what’s best for them and making sure they have everything they need.
As pet owners, we see how their eyes light up when they look at us, an undeniable trust that brings a smile to our hearts. We get a warm feeling when they rest their heads on our chest and they give us a look that tells us just how contented they are. It’s all because of trust and that’s one of the best feelings around. Simply put – trust is love.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.