Friday, May 8, 2009

He loves me, he loves me not?

I had a nightmare the other night: My husband and I had dropped Gibson off at the vet for something routine and then went and visited his parents (I think..dreams are always blurry). On the way, we got caught in a tornado and had to seek cover. We were waiting forever for the tornado to pass, but it just was getting worse, so this meant Gibson was alone w/o us. I started panicking, so I decided to try to get back to him (on foot!) even though I had no idea where we were. The rest of the dream was just me hopping on trains and getting lost, trying to reunite with my puppy because I thought he wouldn't love me anymore if I left him alone any longer. It was horrible, and I was so thankful to wake up and snuggle with him.

I know, it's silly, but I was shook up by this darn dream! I couldn't wait to see my husband at lunch to tell him about it when he got home, but before I could, he ran over to Gibson and hugged him and told him that he knew that he loved his daddy. Wha?? Did he have the same dream too?? Apparently not, but he had just read an article that said that dogs do not love their owners (read it here).

The gist is this:
"Dogs develop very strong, instinctive attachments to the people who feed and care for them," said Katz, speaking Wednesday from his farm in upstate New York. "Over 15,000 years of domestication, they've learned to trick us into thinking that they love us. "

and also:
"Dogs don't 'miss' you when you go away," said Katz, whose conclusions are supported by university studies of animal behavior. "They might get anxious and confused, but don't mistake that for loneliness or mourning. As soon as they find someone else to take care of them, they forget you pretty quickly."

I have to wholeheartedly disagree (but maybe I am crazy?). Even though I questioned whether or not he would still love me in my dream, I knew the feeling was something he was capable of. When I look at Gibson, I can tell that he feels something for us that he does not feel for others (well, maybe for some others- the ones that love him back). The cuddles & kisses, the sad look when we leave, the smiles when we're playing, the look of pure joy when we get home from work, etc., etc. He is a lover, I really can't believe that you can fake that.. Are we to believe that all dogs take acting classes too?

What do you think?


Jenna Z said...

My comment on anything Katz says is that he is a writer, NOT a dog expert. Any philosophy he has on dogs is based on his own perceptions and what he thinks will sell, not on any type of real study or in-depth background information. Dogs certainly know when we (a particular we, not just the humans that feed them) are gone. And to say that dogs forget you as soon as they find someone else to care for them is completely inaccurate as foster parents can tell you, dogs remember them for years and years after they have been adopted. According to Katz, they have no reason to smile, pant, waggle and show of for them since they don't feed them anymore, but they DO because they remember this particular person was good and loving and they wanted to be around them then and they still do.

Angela said...

I have crazy dreams like that to! lol

I do not believe a word that that Katz has to say or offer about dogs or even animal behavior! The only actor is him! lol

I know for a fact that my dogs love me and they miss me and they love, love, love ME! One example is we had gotten our first corgi Jasper. We had him for a month and he was actidentally killed by our garage door. I about had a nervous break down over that because I loved that little Jasper so much and I know he loved me. Our older dog just adored Jasper. She would even take a treat that I gave to her and give it to Jasper. Our older dog loved him so much that when it happened she was in the front yard throwing up and was as much of a mess as I was. You can't tell me that dogs don't love because I know for a fact that they do!

ClassyChassy said...

Ditto Jenna and Angela!

JuLo said...

Interesting discussion topic! I didn't read the whole article, but to the except I would say this. My husband never feeds Theo. It's always me, except the few exceptions where I have been out of town. Yet when my husband is gone, Theo definitely notices that our family unit (or pack) is not complete. When either one of us is away, Theo is noticeably...I wouldn't say stressed, but troubled. Like he's trying to wait out the time until we're all together again. And that's not me projecting. I can handle a few hours home alone without my husband there. Theo cannot.

a corgi said...

I agree with what everyone said; I definitely agree with what JuLo said; Koda is not happy unless we are all here. And how can they not love us? We're all so fantastic, wonderful people of course they love us!

enjoy your weekend


Allidink said...

Heck no. My dogs definitely cannot stand it if we leave and they get all emo. They get so depressed if my mom or stepdad aren't home and it's just me. They don't even give me the time of day. They just lay on my parent's bed and look all pathetic and won't come downstairs with me or anything. They only want them. I feed the dogs too you know? So whatever to Mr. Katz LOL.

All the best,

Cathy Santarsiero, "The Christmas Corgi" said...

OK, In order to keep my response a 'G' rating, and not write the first word that came into my head (begins with a b and ends with a t) I will say that I disagree with the writer of that column. I understand his theory, but I disagree. Of course our dogs know when we feed them and care for them, they are intelligent beings and after years of domestication know how to communicate with us. Not only do they love us, but they exhibit pure, honest, unconditional love. Because they are able to love with such open hearts, they are able to let others in, as when having to live elsewhere. But isn't that true with us humans? We can love more than one person at the same time. We don't forget who we love just because we haven't seen them in a while. There are dogs who are 'campaigned' out on the show circuit for a very long time, and I can tell you that they can become very attached to their handlers, but when they get home, they greet their owners with joy, exuberance and love. I have one dog (my mushy boy Indy) who actually puts his head on my chest and hugs me. Not everything in life can be explained. Love is a gift from God. People who don't believe in love can try all they want to reason it away. But we know better :)

Lindsey said...

I had a scary dream like that with Frankie last week. I woke up totally freaked out.

Dogs definitely love...unconditionally. Frankie sleeps near me, follows me everywhere, hangs at my feet when I work, always wants to be with me, listens to everything I say, comes to me when he is scared, shows me things when he is happy, tries to protect me, misses me when I'm gone (so I've been told).....if all that's not love, then I don't know what is. and it's not just because i feed him!

Mom said...

I know that Coal loves me and misses me when I am gone. Even if there are other people in the house and I leave, she sits in the front window and waits for me to come home. That article is wrong.

Infrared Goggles said...

I have to defer to Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human, who states that the new research backs animals sharing key human emotions, and dogs being the only species that has evolved with a desire to please/serve humans. Love is serving, in my humble opinion.

As for the dog forgetting its human, I have never known this to be true. In fact, dogs I have known who have lived with a family, then moved on to become service dogs, whine and fall at the feet of their original family members even after years apart--they don't forget those original relationships, in my experience.

So I agree with you, Kelly, and also think your take on this is more intelligent than Katz's research conclusions.

Ivy@PaperElixir said...

I've had stressful dreams like that about Bryson too! I think you can analyze and slice and dice the science however you want, but when you're a loving dog owner, you simply look at your dog's face and know the feeling is mutual. :)

^..^Corgidogmama said...

I'm sorry...but I've seen the joy on our corgis faces...that writer was not a dog person at all...couldn't have been!

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