Loving relationships

A very Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.

(And that, of course, means all you humans and your pets.)

I am sharing three very appropriate items for today.

Firstly, a recent article over on the Care2 site.

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Showing Love for the Animals This Valentine’s Day

1374408.largeBy: Katie Medlock February 8, 2016

About Katie Follow Katie at @offbeatherbivor

Whether you’re on board with celebrating a “traditional” Valentine’s Day this year—chocolates, cards, romance—or not, this year should be the year we also show some extra love to the animals in our lives. Whether we focus on our own companion animals or forgotten creatures out there in the world who also need compassion, this Valentine’s Day could be the start of a new tradition. Here are a few ideas to really bring the love to our furry and feathered friends this year:

1. Plan a trip to an animal sanctuary

Animal sanctuaries are wonderful places to visit solo, with your partner or with the kids. Most, if not all, states have at least one farmed animal sanctuary where pigs, cows, goats, chickens, geese, horses and many others have found a permanent home after being rescued on the way to slaughter or from their terrifying lives in the animal industries. There are few ways to connect with an animal and appreciate all they have been through in their lives that shine brighter than spending time petting a goat or cuddling a pig.

 There are also other types of sanctuaries open to the public with different types of animals to behold, such as bats, tortoises, exotic birds, wolves and wild cats. The difference between reputable and respectable animal sanctuaries and zoos is, in many cases, the dedication to the animals’ needs. Some zoos may have great conservation programs, yet any profit-driven establishment who puts animals on display in unnatural living environments and social groupings does not have the animals’ true interests at heart. Sanctuaries strive toward giving the animals the best lives they can have—public observation is not at the heart of the matter. By supporting reputable animal sanctuaries, you are showing immense love and compassion to animals.

2. Dine on a meatless meal

To have a truly animal-friendly Valentine’s Day, don’t serve any of them on your plate! By choosing to dine on a plant-based meal full of fresh vegetables, hearty legumes, sweet fruits, wholesome grains and satisfying nuts and seeds, you are showing the animals the utmost respect. Try these Valentine’s recipe ideas, ethical wine suggestions and delicious vegan chocolate truffles for the big day! And, if you are interested in reducing the amount of animal products you consume beyond V-Day, visit the Meatless Monday website to learn how to tip the scales gradually toward regular vegan meals.

3. Reach out to an animal in need

Do you have a friend who could use a dogsitter for an upcoming trip? Does your local animal shelter or adoption agency need an extra hand with walking the dogs, cleaning cages and spending time with furry friends? Have you spoiled your own companion critter lately with a new toy, extra play time or some homemade treats? Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to extend our love to our own companion animals and to those around us who also need a little extra love. The rewards from reaching out to a pet in need are tenfold what we expend putting forth the effort. Use this February as an excuse to spend more time with some critters!

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The second was recently seen over on Mother Nature Network.
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9 ways dogs say ‘I love you’

Laura Moss February 10, 2016
 This dog is serious about keeping the title of 'man's best friend.' (Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)
This dog is serious about keeping the title of ‘man’s best friend.’ (Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)

Dogs have lived alongside us for thousands of years, earning the reputation as “man’s best friend” for good reason. But while some people may be quick to dismiss a dog’s devotion as simply a relationship based on need, experts say that’s just not true.

“Dogs have developed the strongest ability of all animals on Earth to form affectionate bonds with humans,” says Dr. Frank McMillan D.V.M., director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society, an organization helping adopters find loving companions. “Dogs don’t just love us — they need us, but not just for food and physical care. They need us emotionally. This is why the attachment bond a dog feels for his human is one of deep devotion and is, as has been often stated, unconditional.”

But how exactly does a dog say, “I love you”? Read on to find out.

Your dog wants to be close to you.

If your dog is always in your lap, leaning against you or following you room to room, it’s clear your pooch is attached to you.

“A dog’s affection is most evident in their desire to be physically close to you. This can sometimes appear to be a clinginess, and it isn’t always easy to distinguish healthy positive clinginess from insecurity, but in both cases your dog is deeply attached to you,” McMillan says.

Your dog gazes into your eyes.

When you and your pup share a long look, your dog is “hugging you with his eyes,” according to Brian Hare, a professor at Duke University who studies canine cognition, and research shows that this “hug” has a profound effect on both man and animal.

When scientists at Japan’s Azabu University took urine samples from dogs and their owners before and after 30 minutes of interacting, they found that the pairs that spent the most time gazing into each others’ eyes showed significantly higher levels of the hormone oxytocin, the same hormonal response that bonds us to human infants. “It’s an incredible finding that suggests that dogs have hijacked the human bonding system,” Hare told Science.

Loving glances like this can say a lot. (Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)
Loving glances like this can say a lot. (Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)

Your dog excitedly greets you.

Does your pup jump up, wag his tail and barely seem able to contain his excitement when you arrive home? If so, that’s a sure sign of affection.

“This becomes even more obvious when your dog learns, like Pavlov’s dogs, that some sound signals your upcoming arrival, like the garage opener or sound of your car, and they show excitement upon hearing that sound,” McMillan says.

Your dog sleeps with you.

Dogs are pack animals that often huddle together at night for warmth and protection, so when your dog snuggles up with you, it means he considers you to be part of the family. And these canine cuddles may even help you get a better night’s sleep.

You are your dog’s safe haven.

“Much affection in animals and humans is based on how much you can be relied on as a source of comfort and support in scary situations,” McMillan says. “If your dog seeks your comfort during thunderstorms, car rides, vet visits or other frightening occurrences, then you are seeing another aspect of her attachment bond to you.”

Your dog ‘reads’ you and reacts accordingly.

A close bond with your dog may enable him to sense your mood and respond with affection. “Many dogs who sense that you are upset or not feeling well will demonstrate their affection by spending even more time by your side. They might give you licks or rest their head or paws on some part of your body,” McMillan says.

dog snuggling sick owner
A cuddly canine can make the day a little better. (Photo: Brian Goodman/Shutterstock)

Your dog yawns when you yawn.

If you’ve ever yawned after witnessing another person’s yawn, you’re aware how contagious the act can be. This contagious yawning is unique to only a few species, and man’s best friend is one of them.

Researchers have even found that not only are dogs more likely to yawn after watching familiar people yawn, but also that dogs will yawn when hearing only the sound of a loved one’s yawn. So if your canine companion yawns in response to your yawns, odds are good that his affection for you enables him to empathize with you.

Your dog focuses on you.

It’s not unusual for dogs to delight in positive attention from virtually anyone, but just because your pooch loves on everyone, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you most. Pay attention to how your dog acts when in a room full of people. If he stays focused on you or ignores others while awaiting your return, you know you hold a special place in your dog’s heart.

Your dog forgives you.

“Part of the affectionate feelings your dog has for you shows up in their willingness to forgive you for things you do that make them feel bad, such as raising your voice, or misplacing your frustration on your dog by ignoring them,” McMillan says. “Forgiveness is your dog’s attempt to maintain the loving bond they share with you.”

However, even if your canine best friend doesn’t show affection in these ways, it certainly doesn’t mean your pooch doesn’t love you. Just as some people can care deeply without expressing their feelings, so can your pup.

“Be sure not to go through the list above and think that because your dog shows very few or even none of these things, he or she doesn’t love you. Odds are, love is very much there. After all, we’re talking about a dog here,” McMillan says.

And how can you show your dog some love? Engage in playtime, take a long walk, bake some yummy dog treats, or give your pup a homemade toy. Above all, McMillan says the best thing you can do is simply give your dog more of you because that’s what man’s best friend wants most of all.

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Finally, enjoy this fabulous video. (Thanks Sue Dreamwalker)

Published on Oct 20, 2014

As humans animals can be also friends. If animals live together they became often friends. Friendship between different species can be cold as unlikely animals friendship. In this you can see friendship between dogs and cats, Lion tiger and bear friends, Baby Chick and Chihuahua best friends, cat and own friendship etc.

So many loving relationships! So many lessons for us to learn from our dogs!

10 thoughts on “Loving relationships

  1. I liked the middle one, especially as Snowy is lying next to me on the sofa!

    However, in the last par of that one it refers to yummy dog treats, which include … peanut butter. Doesn’t sit too well with yesterdays post …

  2. Good to be back Paul; I’ve had an enforced absence for two weeks due to BT going down over the whole village – apologies for having missed several of your lovey articles (the backlog – aagh!)

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