And on the eighth day, God said, let the man have a friend. And he created Dogs. If you are staunch Darwinist, we might say that dogs and humans share such a perfect friendship because the two species evolved that way. Because the reasons go beyond temperament and qualities like loyalty. There are a number of biological reasons that make dogs ‘human’s best friend’.
1. Bitches don’t hold grudges. Dogs don’t either!
Dogs may not have great short-term, episodic memory, but their associative memories stick with them longer, hence their short-term memory span lasts 5 minutes. So leave alone forgiveness, they don’t even remember what you reprimanded them for. On the other hand, their long-term memory and associated memory are strong enough to remember kindness and good times. The species, therefore, wonderfully make up for the qualities that human friends lack most of the time and remain our friends for life.
2. Blame the hormones. Or thank ’em. Whatever!
Gazing into each other’s eyes release the hormone oxytocin in both the human’s and the pet’s bodies. This hormone is known to boost the feeling of happiness, contentment and is also sometimes called ‘the love hormone’. The bond that is thus forged is stronger and the friendship more truthful. This fact, combined with the previous one, also the reason that they contribute so well therapies.
3. A point for Darwinists. Because everybody keeps a score!
Dogs are a section of wolves that evolved to adapt domestication, making it the perfect companion for humans.
4. They are smart. And smarter than some people!
Dogs are intelligent creatures that get trained easily. This makes it extremely helpful to humans when it comes to training them and to dogs when it comes to adaptation. This smartness is not limited to obedience. Dogs easily understand the emotion the parent is going through and are even adept at mimicking it. And considering the amount of understanding we crave from our friends but fail to get, it is no wonder humans turn to canines for companionship.
Apart from these, there are a number of temperamental qualities that help forge a strong bond between humans and dogs. The non-verbal communication that is much valued by humans also develop an understanding between the two. They also provide companionship when we are lonely, they become our therapists when we suffer from anxiety and depression, they assist in treating disorders, they turn into guardians for us, they remain loyal to us all their lives and last but certainly not the least, they are willing to die for us.
All these factors combined make us wonder if dogs are a perfect complement that fills in gaps in human nature. Till the time that humans gain enough wisdom and develop such qualities in themselves, humans will have to make do with turning to dogs for such qualities. If and when humans do gain such wisdom, we will know that dogs would still add value to our lives.