International Dog Day, 8/26!

International Dog Day, 8/26!

This article by dog lover Lindsay Holmes appeared in the Huff Post today in honor of International Dog Day. Like we need one day in Telluride. Long ago our town went to the dogs. And that’s a good thing. Still the Huff Post story titled “9 Ways Your Dog Knows You Better Than Anyone Else” is well worth a read.

HENRY THE PUP, aka Henry Viebrock. Photo, Clint Viebrock.

When I was in high school, I experienced my first real heartbreak. I was in the lowest of moods and moped around the house like a modern-day Eeyore. Everyone left me alone to “grieve” in peace ― everyone, that is, except for my dog.

Sapp followed me around like a shadow as I sulked and quietly hid in my room to cry. He even resorted to sleeping on my pillow ― right next to my face ― that night. The next morning I was in better spirits (and so was he).

My story isn’t uncommon. Pups really are our best friends ― and there’s research that backs this up. One study found that dogs can not only read our emotions, but they act accordingly based on how we’re feeling. How’s that for intuitive?

Below are nine other ways our furry friends understand and adapt to our complex personalities, effectively making us happier and healthier humans.

They can help reduce anxiety.

Stress is no match for cuddles with our pets. Research shows that we’re just automatically happier when Fido’s around. One study out of Georgia State University found that dogs can reduce feelings of stress and loneliness in college students, and research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that owning a pet can make us happier overall. We can’t think of a cuter anxiety-reliever.

They get jealous.

We aren’t the only ones who fall victim to the green-eyed monster. Dogs get jealous too, according to one study conducted by the University of California, San Diego. Researchers found that dogs displayed signs of the emotion when they saw their owners interacting with a stuffed, animatronic dog. Sound like a familiar social scene you’ve experienced? In other words, we even share our flaws with our fluffy pals.

We naturally bond with them.

Our connection with canines may all come down to a hormone in our brains ― something we biologically produce on our own. When we cuddle with our pet, oxytocin (AKA the love hormone) is released and it may cause dogs to pay better attention to their humans. As a result, the relationship between the two becomes stronger.

They can read our facial expressions.

Dogs can tell if we’re happy or angry by reading the emotions on our face, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Current Biology. Thus proving our pups really are sensitive to our feelings and behaviors (and perhaps explains why they just know when you’re going through that rough breakup).

They help us heal…

Continue reading here.

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