Dogs have been by our sides for a long time, in fact, this man/canine relationship has been going on for possibly 40,000 years. Ancient people would hunt, feed their family and would leave behind their scraps from the day’s hunt. The wolves would reap the benefits.
In my mind, I think that the smartest of the wolves realized, “Hey, these human things really know how to hunt, we should hang out around them more often!”. I’m sure some adorable,spirited pup was curiously watching a human child playing. Eventually the child and pup would be playing together.
Seeing that the pup is no danger to anyone in the family, the adults could of easily been schmoozed by it’s adorable face.
The baby wolf would want to do things for some readily available food and not do things to get yelled at and possibly not get food. So then the domesticated dog was born, the ULTIMATE schmoozers.
The dogs were not the only beneficiary in this relationship, humans benefited and continue to benefit, in many surprising ways just from dogs being in their life.
SECURITY AND PROTECTION
Having a dog is free 24/7 security from any threats (especially helpful for when humans lived out in the open basically). I always say “You can’t sneak up on a man with a dog”, and that is SO true.
In 2010, I was a broke, college student that could only afford to live in a cheap, seedy apartment complex. The apartments were next to a convenient store that was on the news all of the time for shootings and other crimes. Being just a skinny, white female from the suburbs, I knew I had to make friends with my neighbors. They were cool with me. Still, eventually my apartment was burglarized while I was out shopping. I knew I needed some security.
At first I thought of booby trapping my apartment (LoL) but that didn’t seem like the best option… I needed something scary, loud and on alert 24/7. I needed a dog STAT! So, I went on Craigslist and found the cutest German Shepherd mix puppy. This is an actual picture of him as a puppy.
He protected me for the rest of his life and made me feel safe, even if I was home alone, listening to gunshots at night. Don’t worry, few months later, me and my pup moved out of those apartments and to much safer place. That’s why security is a top reason that dogs are awesome, but they are so much more.
2. THEY ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Dogs are great for the human being’s health. Spending time with your pup can lower your blood pressure and if you do happen to have a heart attack, you are TWICE as likely to recover than people who don’t have a dog. Dogs can also help protect your children from skin conditions and allergies (studies also show that dogs improve kid’s self-esteem and coping skills).
When you are a dog owner it forces you frequently get off your butt and get out of the house and walk, even if you don’t want to do anything. Once you are outside with your furry friend, you feel glad that you got out and you will feel better when you get home.
3. Dogs save our lives by sniffing out bombs
They are out their everyday, sniffing out bombs, we would have never have safely found on our own,so that they can be disarmed and removed.
4. Dogs can detect changes in our bodies chemicals
Dogs can actually smell what is going on in our bodies, just by sitting near us. In fact, they can notice subtle fluctuations in your body’s chemicals and hormones.
Dogs can be trained to warn epileptics when they are about to have a seizure. They can smell CANCER and early detection can save your life.
For Diabetics, dogs can be trained to sense a dip in blood sugar and alert them to take their insulin shot. They can track down invasive insects like termites or bed bugs. They can actually smell minerals and bacteria too!
5. Dogs are like a no side-effects, antidepressant.
Studies have shown that playing with a dog will boost your brain neurotransmitters, Seratonin and Dopamine. These feel-good chemicals help you to feel happy, pleasurable and calm.
After a rough day, spending 15 minutes with my pup is all I need to feel a million times better. Just looking at that smiling face, that is so excited to see me, I can’t help be feel happier. Even when I first wake up and my hair is a mess, wearing PJ’s, still half asleep, and my dog would look at me like I’m a supermodel. How could anyone be depressed after spending time around that?
Although we cannot have a typical human conversation with our pups, we have evolved to communicate with our furry friends. Just from listening to a dog bark, people can tell if it is excited, scared or angry. I can look at my current dog, a red Doberman mix, (featured here) and I can tell what she is thinking and sometimes I will translate her entire inner monologue. Me and my husband actually “do” our dog’s voices and it is hilarious.
7. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
True unconditional love exists only in fairy tales and religious books, but here in reality, people have conditions on their love for you. Abandoned dogs have traveled thousands of miles to return to its master.
8. LIVING IN THE PRESENT
Dogs know something, us humans have struggled to learn, and that is how to live in the present. Dogs don’t obsess over the times they were a “bad boy” or “bad girl”.
No, they live in the now, and right now, and they are just happy to be here. We should all learn from our companions that we should be happy for what you have right now.
Check out your local animal shelter and see what kind of happy, furry face you could welcome into your family!