Happy Doggytine’s from GTTD!
(Photo by Ivana La on Unsplash)
Happy Doggytine’s from GTTD!
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s not because I’m a hopeless romantic, rather that I find that the occasion to celebrate love is something that crosses all ages, cultures, religious and political borders.
And I’m not talking just the retail-driven playing up of romance and sensuality, but the broader concept of love. I remember as a child sending friendship valentines cards or sweethearts to all the kids in my class. In subsequent years it became uncool and I’d wonder why the adult version seemed limited to celebrating with one’s intimate and sexual partner/s only. Thankfully, for shows such as Sex and the City, where Carrie Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker, celebrated singlehood, or Parks and Recreation where Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, talks about Galentine’s, lines became blurred and Valentine’s started to open up to all these other variants of celebrating love and friendship that we now enjoy:
- Singles Awareness Day (that’s celebrated on the 15th vs the 14th)
Gone to the Dogs, of course, prefers to talk about Doggytine’s, leveraging Feb. 14th to celebrate our pet romance! While human relationships may come and go, make-up and break-up, the deep love and loyalty a dog has for their human is for life.
When I visited Tokyo, I was intrigued by a huge dog statue that stood just outside the Shibuya train station. Not only was it very imposing, but what caught my attention was the number of people crowding around to photograph it. What was the deal? It turned out that the statue commemorates Hachiko (1923-1935), a Japanese Akita dog, who became famous by waiting daily for over 9 years at the station for the return of his human, Hidesaburō Ueno, who had passed away. While we do occasionally hear about humans who have waited lifetimes to reconnect, it’s amazing that dogs retain things for so long especially given that they don’t have photographs or the ability to discuss things to help memory recall about a loved one. How are they able to hold onto this love and loyalty for so long?
Then there is “Bobbie the Wonder Dog”, a Scotch Collie of the 1920’s. Bobbie walked solo for more than 2,500 miles across two thirds of the US, over a six-month period to return to his home in Oregon to become reunited with his human after his human had lost him on a road trip. When he arrived, he was mangy and scrawny with worn down toenails, all indicating that he had walked the entire distance. It’s hard to fathom. Bobbie would not have known the areas that he was traversing, yet he managed to navigate the plains, mountains and desert to find his way back to his humans. This illustrates the power of a dog’s unconditional love and loyalty, drawing him like a magnet across all those miles. It’s the stuff that legends are made of.
And finally, there is a king shepherd from British Columbia named Sako who survived a car accident that killed all passengers apart from himself and his teenage human. Sako took care of his badly wounded master for almost 40 hours, keeping his human warm, leading him to water, and fighting off coyotes until rescuers found them.
There are numerous countless other stories such as these that all illustrate how dogs go above and beyond to be with and help their humans.
Yet in the media, there continue to be mixed messages out there about whether animals, and dogs more specifically, have a soul, or have feelings the way humans do. Is the unconditional love and loyalty we talk about just a figment of our imagination? Much research continues to be done in this area and scientists are finally beginning to show empirical evidence through MRI scans that dogs are smart and do have feelings even if they don’t have the (human) words to describe them.1 We pet parents don’t need the science – we already know this intuitively. We see it in our dog’s expressions and reactions every day. And nothing beats those puppy dog eyes that can convey so many different things with a single glance. Don’t you agree?
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to go on a long walk with Huckleberry and Bobo this Sunday and then curl up on the couch to celebrate our pet romance together. Hmmm…wonder what movie to watch and what snacks to veg on?
So I’ll leave you with 2 famous quotes to reflect upon this Valentine’s:
“There is nothing truer in the world than the love of a good dog.” – Mira Grant
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings
We’d love to hear all about your special Doggytine’s! Are you doing anything special to celebrate with your doggo or pupper? Share your story by February 14th on Instagram using #GTTDdogentines for a chance to win a $25 digital gift card!
Plus, don’t forget to pick up something special for your cutie. Check out our new Unicorn Sweater Hoods, Colby Hoodie Sweaters, Champ Shawl Collar Sweaters, or Ollie Turtleneck Sweater, all perfect for this cooler February weather. Snag yours with 15% discount with code: VDAY4EVR. Click here for more details.
Sending you lots of love and licks this Valentine’s!
*Source: Worrall, Simon. (2017) Dogs Have Feelings – Here’s How We Know. Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/09/dog-brain-feelings-mri-gregory-berns/#close