I will never forget this moment as long as I live. I was sitting in my high school psychology class, a field I was very much interested in working in, and we got to talking about animals. This is when our teacher tried to drop some knowledge on us about how dogs don’t feel love. He may as well slapped me in the face. What happened next was a heated exchange that may have started civil enough, but ended with me getting in some trouble for the words I chose to use. I’m sorry, I know they say that dog’s purely run on survival instinct, but come on. We have dozens of stories of dogs who risked (and even lost) their lives to protect the human they loved. Is that survival instinct? To die to save someone else? Nope. Sorry, but the theory that dogs don’t feel love is dis-proven right there.
My point to said teacher was that he or any of his professional friends must have never actually grown up with a dog. Or seen ANY of the videos of dogs being reunited with soldiers who come home after long stays elsewhere. Or hear stories about dogs who died saving their owners from bears or mountain lions. To die protecting someone is not a survival instinct. I am sorry, but if they were right, dogs would run from all danger, and they don’t.
I also find it incredibly insulting to imply that one of the most loving animals on Earth does not feel love. I am saying it rather delicately here, but how I said it back then got me suspended. Truth is, I would say it the exact same way today. Dogs defend us when we need it most and can’t defend ourselves, and that is what I will do for dogs.
(Photo by Marc Grimwade/Getty Images)