How Much Do You Love Your Dog?
Love is difficult enough to define when being expressed between two humans, and adding a pet to the mix only muddles its meaning further. In my experience, what a person feels or believes they should feel for their dog varies with belief, personality, and the knowledge and dedication they have in regards to raising their dog.
Many western religions are speciocentric in relation to humans. Whereas in eastern religions such a Buddhism and Hinduism all living things are the same at their core, followers of western belief systems may be taught that only humans have souls and, therefore, only humans are capable of love. Not surprisingly, many people show a great deal of love and affection to their pet regardless of this belief, though they may not believe that their dog can love them in return.
While beliefs may have some impact, personality is bound to be the biggest factor in regards to how much someone loves their dog. Someone who feels that a dog is just a dog rather than part of the family is bound to love their pet less than someone who considers their pup to be a furry, four-legged child. Additionally, people who become entranced by the idea of having a dog who are neither passionate about animals nor educated about pet care are probably less likely to develop the strong bond that leads to love in the pet-human relationship.
With that said, I have three dogs and I love them all. I have developed an unbreakable bond with my first two dogs--who sadly live back home while I'm at school. I love them unconditionally and they love me in return, no matter how long I stay away from home. My youngest dog is nine months old and lives with my roommate and myself. Though he was almost constantly by my side when he was younger and is extremely attached to me, his hyperactive,clingy nature puts most people off and even gets to me at times. Though, no matter how much he may frustrate me I can't deny that I love him, as well.
Personally, I feel loving one's dog (or any pet for that matter) is extremely important. Dogs, like humans, are social animals. I don't know a single person who could live a healthy, happy life without others to love and be loved by. Why should it be any different with a dog?
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