by Allison Smith –
In February we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and love makes an appearance in several of our articles this month. From the Kitchen’s Joan Saunders shares her best recipes for ways to use chocolate as a form of “love currency” (pg 34) and writer Cassidy Nunn chats with three couples who share their advice for keeping a marriage strong and healthy (A Love Story for All Ages; pg 16).
In February 2016 I wrote about the love I have for my daughter and, apologies to my partner, but in this year’s Valentine’s missive I’m going to skip him yet again and write about another kind of love: the one between humans and their dogs.
We’ve all seen them: the people cradling their pups in a baby carrier; pushing them in a stroller; or bringing them into every shop, no matter what blatant signage is on the door. Or perhaps you have childless friends who insist that their dogs are their babies (and just as much work!). Your child-ruled, sleep-deprived, cartoon-addled brain may scoff at these scenarios and no, of course human babies are not the same as dog babies … but science supports that the feelings of love we experience for our children – and canine companions – comes from the same place.
From www.bark.com: “Of the chemicals that play a role in our relationships with dogs, oxytocin is the star of the show … Because dogs affect us and our oxytocin levels much the same as human babies do, the bond we have with our dogs can feel like the bond between mothers and children. The mechanism behind the connection is the same.”
Now, as we are on the cusp of adding a puppy to our family, I am over the moon with the idea of meeting our new little “bundle of joy.” I’m obsessed with researching different breeds and scouring the classifieds and animal shelter websites many times a day, on the hunt for that perfect pup.
The takeaway is this: whether the love of your life is your husband, wife, children, or pet, it’s all valid. Love is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated, no matter what form it takes.