Yesterday I was asked if dogs comprehend and respond to our emotions, our moods, our health. I have to answer that I strongly believe they do! Not in the same way as humans do, but in a unique, necessary, canine way. I have had my annual end-of-winter, change-of-season bout with whatever germ is in the air combined with the onset of seasonal allergies and my dog knows it. She is constantly by my side, checking in with me much more than normal, and not very amenable to listening to others in the household. Kendra wanted to play with her the other day and work on some tricks she has been teaching her and Daisy wanted nothing to do with it. That's not like Daisy and I can only attribute it to me not feeling at the top of my game.
Dogs are not humans and do not respond in the same way as humans. To give a dog human characteristics is grossly underestimating a dog -- dogs are so much more! They are sensitive and caring and empathetic beings -- almost to a fault. It is our duty and obligation as thinking, feeling human dog owners to do our best to understand and assimilate our dogs' emotions. It is not to give in to them, or to baby them, or to humanize them. It is to understand the best time to train our dog is not when Mom is sick; it is to understand that a dog's love for her human is unconditional and not to abuse that love; it is to understand that all our dogs want to do is to fit into our families, have a purpose and to be loved in return. Our dogs don't ask for much and give so much in return. Hug your dog today and show them how much you care!