Let’s get one thing straight. It’s psychologically impossible to be alone on Valentine’s Day if you’ve got a dog. Is there a dearth of primates on your doorstep producing fists of roses? Well, let your well-meaning friends offer their condolences because the love of a canine is a romance of a subtler kind, and this February 14 we invite those who share our passions to revel in the simple pleasures of their “lesser loves.”

So what has your dog taught you about love? That was the theme of a small poll we conducted here at Invisible Fence Brand HQ. Here’s a heartwarming sample of what we got back:

  • Love spends time. Being a pretty independent dog, Gumbeaux (German Shepherd/Poodle mix, age 4) never showed much affection. Dog kisses were very rare. After a while we realized the more we played tug, fetch and shared meals together, the more affectionate he got. Now asking for love, kissing me and nudging his nose by my side, has become a daily activity. He listens to me better, too. What did this teach me? True love needs to be cultivated! The more quality time we spend together the stronger love gets. It's not about just being there with your dog, it's about taking the time to really get to know him and working together. I love him a bit more every day, but only because I have made the effort to really get to know him and earn his trust!
  • Love is unconditional. Lazarus (Black Lab, age 6) is extremely loyal. No matter what I’m doing, he’s always at my feet, at my side, following my lead or waiting patiently on me. Seeing how he behaves with us, only five years after his rescue, is a special thing for our family. We wouldn’t be the same without him.
  • Love takes care. Byu (Australian Shepherd/Lab/Manchester mix, age 5) has helped me to understand what it means to take care of someone you love. He has his issues. He used to be reactive on a leash. We worked on it every day for several months. Now it is very rare that his attention ever leaves me while we’re walking together. He also has a bad habit of getting into anything that’s left out. We’ve become diligent as a result. Now we make sure to check the countertops and make sure we put everything away. A good practice!
  • Love looks beyond appearances. When Cosmo (Terrier mix, age 3) first meets a stranger, he is very intimidating. Barking, growling, etc. He has made some folks leave because of it. But deep down, he really just wants you to pet him—and in return he licks you to death. If you just wait five minutes and let him check you out, give him a treat (he’s sucker for cheese), he will stop and love on you until you go—and remember you when you come back. He is very protective of his family and very much a love bug.
  • Love needs no words. Seven years ago, my apartment was burglarized. The police officer responding suggested, in lieu of relying on an alarm system, that I get a small yappy dog. In his ten years of experience, he found Dachshunds and other very vocal breeds are more of a deterrent than alarm systems. True to form, my dog, Matlock (Dachshund, age 7), has a reputation for being particularly salty, even with me, and I love him for it.  But it’s amazing when I am upset or sick, he knows—no words required—and becomes unusually lovable and snuggly.
If  sometimes we humans are too busy to learn from our experience, too quick to rationalize our mistakes, and too preoccupied to be genuinely loyal to each other—the pets we keep are a steady, daily reminder that there is a better way. 

Here’s to the dogs who love us so well!


Tags: Checklist, Dogs, Experts, Forever-home, Holiday, Indoor, Pets, Tips, Training and Behavior, Valentines, Winter

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