Why do we love?


When I look at my dogs and the overwhelming feeling of elation comes over me, I’m puzzled. Is it just the hormones-or is there something more about love that we’re yet to discover? Are my rescues filling in some gaps, some subconscious desires I might have? I’ve never thought of myself as craving acceptance and unconditional love, but I feel perfectly happy when I’m with Brian and Lily. Works like magic, every time. I know oxytocin has a lot to answer for – I teach all my dogs to look at me for training purposes and the side effect is the wave of warmth and bliss I get when they gaze into my eyes.


Looking at their photos works, too. Brian looks into my eyes now. I am still the only person he looks straight at, without reverting his gaze. And for me, this feels better than winning a Nobel prize (nope, I’ve never won a Nobel prize so the pseudo psychoanalysis resulting in the comparison is purely speculative) .


31 thoughts on “Why do we love?

  1. I know exactly how you feel. I am never happier, or more content, than when I am just spending time with my three little girls. I don’t even try to analyse why any more. It is what it is. (Can’t believe how fast Brien is growing . . . )

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    1. I tend to over-analyse everything 😉 Brian’s now three times the size of Lily (he was the same size as her when we got him) but she always comes close to the camera so she looks much bigger 🙂 Hugs for you and your girls 🙂


  2. Since liking your post yesterday I have been pondering why I love dogs so much. It’s so difficult to explain.
    For me it’s a spiritual thing. A deep connection, that I just ‘get’ dogs in a way I find so hard with people. I am myself with them in a raw, ‘naked’ way, with people all too often I slip a mask on to fit in.
    That’s why I love dogs so much.
    Great post thanks 😀🐶

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    1. What a beautiful comment! I’ve been trying to apply some psychological reasons, find some complex needs we’re not quite aware of. And you simply gave me the answer I couldn’t find. Yes, I love them because I am the purest, most unpretentious, raw, ‘naked’ me when I’m with my dogs. Thank you 🙂

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    1. We’re all fine, thank you Dolly 🙂 We went to Norway (me and Brian) – it’s a silly little custom of mine. I disappear for a week each year and spend a week with no internet, no phone and no electricity. But we’re back now 🙂

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      1. He was fine, we stopped in Germany (with my family), then in Denmark (with my best friend from the university) and in Sweden (with my best friend from school). He likes me-it makes me happy but I will probably never be able to leave him, even for a day…

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      2. Well, when I say Brian is ‘my dog’, I basically mean he doesn’t actually trust anyone- he’s really scared of people. It will change, it has got much better, but he’s still not comfortable when I’m not around. Lily loves my husband, too 🙂 and she’s not too keen on long journeys. Brian loves being in the car 🙂

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      3. He will learn to be around strangers, hopefully he’ll like people eventually, but he needs time-and I’m not going to rush it. He is much better than he was anyway 🙂

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  3. When I say ‘my’ cat Yellowboy, the pretty, semi-feral stray who adopted us (or our porch), it’s in quotes and meant wryly, stray cats come and go and he’s ‘mine’ as long as he’s here and we’re friends.

    I think it’s the touch we miss as much as anything, after all until recently (~10k years ago) people were hunter-gatherers who no doubt slept in big human ‘pig piles’ at night for warmth, slithering human skin against skin, tossing and turning, getting up to feed the fire or take a smoke. We probably miss that as a species. It must have helped us fill the Earth so quickly.

    And skin touch, whether people or pet, for sure releases calming, soothing, loving hormones and endorphins and negative ions to both parties. In fact you get some just gazing in each others eyes. So there is nothing imaginary about the good feeling we get from our pets. But we’d probably need less of it if we still slept in human ‘pig piles’!

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    1. Well, Mr Darcy wasn’t really ‘our’ cat, either-not really feral, but definitely a free spirit.
      I’m not sure if I’d cope in a human ‘pig pile’…(all the bacteria).
      Hormones definitely play an important role in bonding (there’s an exercise -gazing into your dog’s eyes softly-where oxytocin is released, it’s brilliant), but I think it’s the feeling of being perfectly accepted-as we are, with all our faults that makes us love the dogs most 🙂


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