Second Chance: Ways Dogs Know You Better Than Anyone
This heartwarming story by Lindsay Holmes appeared in the Huff Post on Thursday, March 23, National Puppy Day: “9 Ways Your Dog Knows You Better Than Anyone Else.” The story proves pups really are our best friends. And there is research to prove it. One study found that dogs can not only read our emotions, but they act accordingly based on how we’re feeling. How’s that for intuitive?
When I was in high school, I experienced my first real heartbreak. I was in the lowest of moods and moped around the house like a modern-day Eeyore. Everyone left me alone to “grieve” in peace — everyone, that is, except for my dog.
Sapp followed me around like a shadow as I sulked and quietly hid in my room to cry. He even resorted to sleeping on my pillow — right next to my face — that night. The next morning I was in better spirits (and so was he).
My story isn’t uncommon. Pups really are a man’s best friend — and there’s research that backs this up. One study found that dogs can not only read our emotions, but they act accordingly based on how we’re feeling. How’s that for intuitive?
Below are nine other ways our furry friends understand and adapt to our complex personalities, effectively making us happier and healthier humans.
They can help reduce anxiety.
Stress is no match for cuddles with our pets. Research shows that we’re just automatically happier when Fido’s around. One study out of Georgia State University found that dogs can reduce feelings of stress and loneliness in college students, and research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that owning a pet can make us happier overall. We can’t think of a cuter anxiety-reliever.
They get jealous.
We aren’t the only ones who fall victim to the green-eyed monster. Dogs get jealous too, according to one study conducted by the University of California, San Diego. Researchers found that dogs displayed signs of the emotion when they saw their owners interacting with a stuffed, animatronic dog. Sound like a familiar social scene you’ve experienced? In other words, we even share our flaws with our fluffy pals.
They can read our facial expressions…
Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.
By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)
Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org
Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.
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