There was research recently saying that dogs don’t like being hugged and cuddled. Now if you read what it is about you will realise there was one regard in which they were right. Dogs are not the same… however, where they were wrong in saying that we are not the same as humans. Actually, we are very similar to humans and other animals. The way we are not the same is ‘as each other’. Now, let’s just remember that humans are simply another form of animal. They like to think they are very different to other animals and even come up with highbrow justifications to convince other humans of that fact. Essentially however they are just another animal, highly developed in some regards, but woefully lacking in others. Oh they might be able to string together a conversation about the origin of the species, but can they sniff out and in season bitch from half a mile or more? And which of those, when you really come down to looking at the future of the species, is the more useful skill?
Anyway, I resent being told that dogs do not like being cuddled. Of course we don’t like complete strangers coming up and wrapping their arms around us tightly, but quite honestly most humans I know would feel pretty threatened by that gesture. At least have the decency to make friends first! I am never happier than when being cuddled by our Mistress and I don’t mean just gently patted. Ari even stands up on his back legs so he can wrap his paws round her and totally reciprocate. Yes, there are dogs who don’t like being cuddled but there are not so well emotionally adjusted humans who never develop a liking for it too. As for patting on the head. Let’s just look at that one again. Surprise – having someone hit you on the head when you didn’t see it coming is not nice. Try it on a human. Then find a human you know and love and try gently stroking their hair and see how much more they like it.
Basically, what I’m saying is I hate this ‘non-research’ that doesn’t start by looking at what are reasonable behaviours and thinks we’re odd if we don’t like the things most civilised humans don’t like. Wouldn’t their time be better spent observing our interactions and learning from it? Take Wilma, she has that special something that makes her a top dog. She has a way of taking the irritation out of situations and calming everyone down. She went to say hello to a dog a while ago who wasn’t feeling so friendly and when he snapped she did not snap back, she almost visibly held up a paw to say ‘I’m sorry, excuse me. No offence mean.’ And faced with that he was fine again and accepted he apology. Our Mistress in observing that said humans could learn so much from us. Now, while you think about it, I’m off for a good long proper cuddle and don’t ever try telling me that receiving that from a person I love does not make me happy.
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