Love. True Love. The ever elusive feeling that everyone understands, but no one can quite explain. The feeling that we associate with our friends, spouses, children, and family members… especially the four-legged ones. The feeling that can make us feel as high as the clouds and as low as dirt. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, I contemplate the concept of unconditional love. In particular, unconditional love as it pertains to our dogs. I’m not sure what their secret is (and maybe they are conspiring together), but somehow dogs have tricked us into feeling the closest thing to unconditional love that is likely to exist.
Arguably, one of the major glues that holds love together is the feeling of trust. Like the trust that the one I love won’t vomit on my carpet or furniture on a semi-regular basis. Like the trust that my love won’t chew a hole in my socks and underwear when I leave to go to work. Like the trust that my love won’t embarrass me by relieving them self on the floor when company is over. All things that the dogs in my life have done… many times. Yet, still I love them.
Respect in the relationship is also a frequently mentioned condition that must be intact in order to experience a healthy love. The respect that keeps the one I love from growling at me when I attempt to take my place on the bed. The respect that keeps my love from invading my personal space when I’m trying to eat or perform some other important task. The respect that keeps the one I love at home instead of running all around town without me. All things that the dogs in my life have done… many times. Yet, still I love them.
It could be said that the pathway to all healthy relationships is paved with great communication skills. The kind of communication that keeps my love from ignoring me when I call their name. The kind that compels my love to respond to my words with more than a head shake or the wagging of an appendage. The kind that prevents my love from performing the same reprehensible behavior over and over despite my pleas. All things that dogs in my life have done… many times. Yet, still I love them.
Since the relationship with my dogs over the years had all of the makings of ones that should have been in shambles, but weren’t. Since after all the embarrassing, frustrating, and sometimes downright disrespectful things they had done, I still adored them. The only thing I can conclude in this season of Valentines, is that the love for my dogs over the years was 100% pure, unadulterated and unconditional puppy love.
I love our dogs’ endless devotion and short memories for past conflicts. I love their ability to understand the emotion in our tears and joy, our fears and anger. I love their innocence and desire to please us above all else. And most of all, I appreciate the unconditional love they also have for us. So, this Valentine’s Day I’m going to pull my homely, little terrier dog, Kyle close. I need to thank him for teaching me about relationships and giving me a reason to be so passionate about my career. It is this love of dogs and our deep, personal understanding of what they mean to you that drives us at Paw Print Genetics to give our best each and every time for you and for their love!
Happy Valentine’s Day from Paw Print Genetics!