Dogs: They Never Ghost Us or Abandon Us

“Everyone knows that dogs can be firehose-like gushers of unqualified love.”  Today I enjoyed an essay from The New York Times by Amy Sutherland on the incredible love connection between dogs and humans: Opening the Heart’s Floodgates, With A Paw. Our beloved dog companions might eat our shoes or snatch a piece of roast beef off our plate, but they won’t hold back a single measured ounce of loving us with reckless abandonment. No matter what. People let us down. They wound with words, walk off in frustration, give or take away permission to love or to be loved back, make unspoken rules about when, how, and where they will love us, or flat out abandon us. But dogs, they are like tulips in spring or snow in winter–they make sense, their affection is beautifully predictable, and they do what we expect them to at exactly the right moments in time: they love us, plain and simple. And in doing so, they give us a space to love them back, plain and simple. With everything we have.

Everyone knows that dogs can be firehose-like gushers of unqualified love. Humans, in contrast, have always struck me more as takers than givers, fickle lovers who are cagey with their affections and hearts. But in watching people tumble for goofballs like Ciera, I saw that my own species longs, maybe even needs, to gush unqualified love too, something we rarely do with other humans, even with a mate.

A dog may eat our Italian loafers but will never ghost us, or say, “We need to have a talk.” With them, we can let it all hang out. At the shelter, that’s what people did with our one-eyed pugs, our ancient hounds with bald patches and juveniles who hopped like kangaroos.

Watching people fall in love so completely with dogs, I began to see how humans long to give their hearts away.