I grew up on a small family farm and we had about every farm animal imaginable so I got to know a lot about animal behavior. For example, both cows and horses can show their love for you by walking up to you, being relaxed (which you can even tell from their eyes), and when they lean into you with their head; basically giving you a hug the best way they know how. Because of physical limitations they can’t demonstrate love for us like a dog can but it’s there.
In my opinion animals can show love depending upon your definition of it and certainly to different degrees; it’s just that dogs are great at physically showing their love and affection (i.e. jumping up on you, licking you, wagging their tail, etc.). If a dog loves us, its whole body exudes excitement when we walk through the door.
Why are they so excited to see us? Is it true they love us unconditionally? In my opinion true unconditional love comes only from God because as far as I know he doesn’t require anything from us to love us. I believe dogs love us because we take care of them. We feed them, caress them, give them treats, talk to them in a sweet/loving voice, etc. We demonstrate love towards them and they reciprocate in their own ways. I believe their love is conditional.
If you want to put my theory to the test, have your next door neighbor start taking care of your dog and then go over and visit after a few days. Next, start stopping by their house every few weeks or so. At first your dog would more than likely give you loving attention but it wouldn’t take long before the dog who loved you with all his heart, would have fallen in love with someone else.
I didn’t write this article to hurt your feelings towards where your dog’s love comes from and you certainly don’t have to agree with me, instead I wrote this to get across an important point about love and that is if you want to experience great love in your life, understand it’s conditional and do something about it.
Because we’re human, accepting anything without condition leads to us taking it for granted. If we want love, we must demonstrate love. Love is a verb not a noun. Certainly not in all cases do we get what we give but the best chance we have to experience love in our lives (in all relationships), is to proactively put it out there.
This means knowing what people need and then showing an effort to meet those needs. Sometimes someone just knowing you care enough to try to do things to make their life better, is enough to create a loving relationship. Many divorces occur because people quit trying to meet their spouse’s needs and the fact is if and when they move on to someone else, it’s going to start all over again. They’ll need to figure out the conditions for love in the next relationship and do something with it or fail again.
People are way more complicated than anything else on earth because needs vary based on our individual life’s journey. This is why it’s so easy to have great relationships with our dogs because demonstrating love from our part and their part is quite simple. If we want to experience love in our lives (i.e. family, friends, etc.), it doesn’t just happen unconditionally; it takes effort; it’s up to us whether it’s worth it our efforts. I think it is.