Everyone knows dogs are mankind’s best friends. They have been our faithful companions ever since they figured out that we’d feed them if they hung around long enough. Since June 8 is National Best Friends Day, here’s a look at some reasons why our canine companions have become our best and most loyal friends — and why we still need them.
- Unconditional love. We never have to earn a dog’s love, and we don’t have to love them first. They choose to love us no matter what, wholeheartedly, unquestioningly, absolutely, no strings attached. Even when we don’t deserve it, even when we don’t love ourselves, even when we’re angry that they’ve torn apart another couch cushion, dogs love us anyway.
- They know us better than we know ourselves. Having a fabulous day? Your dog knows and wants to play. Feeling sick or sad? Your dog can tell and will leave you alone or comfort you (yes, she knows which you need). Now, that’s a good friend.
- They’re smarter than we are. Dogs help military and police departments around the world to sniff out drugs and bombs or to track and locate missing persons. They fearlessly jump out of airplanes to perform rescues or infiltrate war zones. Dogs herd our livestock. Service dogs can sense changes in blood sugar levels or warn their masters about an impending seizure, guide the blind or, just by their presence, help to heal the war-scarred veteran. Between instincts and specialized training, working dogs of all kinds truly are amazing and make wonderful best friends.
- They take care of us. Dogs can literally save your life. They bark when someone comes into the yard, a stranger comes to the door, or a child gets too close to danger. They wake us up if there’s a natural disaster or other emergencies in the middle of the night. They sense earthquakes before they strike. Dogs will risk their lives to save yours without question or concern.
- They keep us warm. In the old days (I honestly have no idea exactly how old, but old), humans would cuddle up with pups to stay warm during the harsh winter nights. Many of us still do this, but did you know it was a real thing? The band Three Dog Night didn’t get that name from nowhere; on the coldest nights, we’d snuggle up with three dogs to keep warm.
No sales pitch today. Just go hug your dog and be his best friend, too.