Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of MAGGIE: the dog who changed my lifeI never cease to be amazed at the connection between our animals and ourselves. I only recently came across this USA Weekend article by Steve Dale, yet another testimonial to dogs being our best friend.
What Our Pets Think of Us
"Thor nibbled on his owner’s ear. The pit bull worked hard to awaken Kemper Hunter and his girlfriend, Sarah Laughlin. Instantly, they understood Thor’s urgency. They desperately attempted to fight the smoke to get to Shelby, their 3-month-old baby, but couldn’t. The fire department arrived to find the panicked couple screaming outside their home, assuming they had lost their baby and their dog in the still-blazing fire.
Just then, they all witnessed Thor pulling the bassinet out the door to safety. Baby and dog were OK...
|Maddie, my best friend ...|
Certified applied animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell has a pretty simple explanation. “It’s love,” she says.
Animal behavior experts once maintained that such self-sacrificing decisions are impossible for animals to make, and any suggestion they could was nothing more than anthropomorphizing — ascribing human emotions and thoughts to animals. To believe our pets react, and are motivated to risk their own lives based on love, was considered absurd and without any scientific basis in fact...
But are dogs truly capable of love? “We selected (over thousands of years) for a close bonding relationship with dogs,” veterinary behaviorist Karen Overall says. “And as a result, today the neurochemistry in dogs’ brains is nearly identical to ours...”
Do dogs make a conscious decision to play Lassie in real life? ... "
Read the full story here in this USA Weekend story by Steve Dale:
What Our Pets Think Us by Steve Dale, USA Weekend, June 30, 2011