In the book, Paws & Effect, the author, Sharon Sakson, refers to Temple Grandin’s work. Grandin explained that, in the domestication of dogs, human mothers would have taken in orphaned or sick puppies to care for them.
Apparently, we are programmed to release oxytocin when we see babies, puppies, kittens and other “helpless” creatures.
Therefore, the bond between a human and a dog is genetically programmed into us.
I am not a scientist.
In fact, my students and I often joke that “we don’t speak like that (referring to science and math) in my hallway.”
But, this idea makes sense to me.
Last summer, I fell in love with Mr. Sunny Sunny Bun Bun. As a toy poodle, he arrived weighing 22.5 pounds and without fur. When he sat on the seat of my Honda Element and looked at me, a blast of oxytocin let loose and he was mine.
A few weeks ago, Timmy arrived. Hard of hearing, missing all of his teeth, and scared, Timmy crawled right into my arms.
I could never love a man that was helpless or needy. It is, however, easy to love dogs with special needs.