Unconditional Love?

Please welcome one of my very favorite people and pet bloggers, Jana Rade!  Jana has a great blog, Dawg Business, inspired by her gorgeous Rottweiler, Jasmine.  Those of you who know Jana need no introduction, and those of you who do not NEED to visit her blog!  It is full of great stories and information.

This is a response to a post by another of my Favorite People, Edie Jarolim, who wrote on her also excellent blog, Will My Dog Hate Me? about Frankie and his unconditional love.

What do you say?  Does your dog love you unconditionally?  Is it crucial that he or she does?  Is anyone going to put in a good word for the cats? Would they care if we did or not??

Thank you so much Jana!  Great post!  And I will never, ever get tired of the gorgeous pictures of Jasmine!

Unconditional Love or Not?


Do dogs truly care about us or is it just a myth?  Does their meal take priority over our immediate needs?

In her article What’s Unconditional Love Got To Do With It? Edie Jarolim wrote, “While Frankie is eating, for example, I could be lying on the floor bleeding and not get any attention until he’s done.”

OK, I agree with Edie that nothing in this world is unconditional. I think that the question really is how much we really matter to our dogs.  Do they care about us more than about themselves?

Unlike cats, dogs are social animals and are programmed to care about the members of their social group.  They are genetically predisposed to care.  Is it just a question of survival or does it go deeper?

I believe, that like humans, each dog is an individual and any generalization will take us only so far.  The first time we met Jasmine, she immediately stole our hearts, and not just because she was unbearably cute.  The puppies were on a porch, contained in a kiddy pool.  The walls of the pool however weren’t high enough to prevent them from climbing over in order to come and check us out. All except one, the runt of the litter, who was too small to conquer the giant wall.  As the other puppies noticed that their little brother could not make it on his own, they returned to his rescue…some pushing, some pulling, until they got their little buddy out of there.  They cared.

Jasmine is eight years old now and she never stopped caring.  Every time somebody is in trouble, she’s in there like a dirty shirt.  Be that a member of her human family, her house mate, her friend or a complete stranger.

She’s there every time hubby hurts himself doing one silly thing or another, and it happens often enough.  She’s there every time we pull out the nail clippers and her house mate JD runs hiding under the desk.  She’s there every time somebody is really sad.  She’s there every time I sneeze—OK, that one I can’t figure out because nobody else’s sneezing means anything but mine does.

One time we were out swimming and throwing a tennis ball for Jasmine to fetch.  There were other dogs and other tennis balls there also.  Jasmine was swimming to get her ball when one of the other dogs breathed in some water and started coughing.  Jasmine immediately turned around and started swimming towards him.  OK, I have no idea whether she had a plan what she was going to do when she got there, but she was on her way.  Luckily the dog recovered.  Only when she saw he was going to be fine, she turned back after her ball.

When we were on a walk with one of her occasional buddies, we met a lab who started picking on him.  Jasmine was right there to defend him, even though they met each other only from time to time.

When hubby’s colleague got fired and was all distraught, she came and sat beside her until she calmed down.

Hubby used to like tickling me but he cannot do that any more.  Because all it takes is one yelp from me and Jasmine is right there, “whatcha doing?”

The signs of distress might be obvious or subtle, she will pick up on them and she will be there.  And yes, she’ll be there even if she was eating, digging or doing anything else of importance.  If I’m taking a shower and stay in the bathroom longer than usual after the water stops running, she’ll be there.

One thing I know for sure, she cares. And I know that she cares more about others than her meal, treat, dig or interesting smell. I know, because she shows it all the time.

I know that we mean more to her than food or fun.

I know that if I was lying on the floor bleeding, she’d be there.

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5 Responses to “Unconditional Love?”

  1. Jill Farkas says:

    Absolutely unconditional love no doubt no holds barred. Even Poohbear who is as self centered a dog as has ever walked this earth loves both me n her only dog friend her bro Tobi a pitbull she’s bossed round since he was tiny waaaay more than any kind of food or treats. All the rest of my many dog pals would much much much rather just be with me than anything I can think of. Well Tobi does have his tennus balls but somebuddy gotta throw it!!

  2. So does that mean all dogs show such concern? I don’t know. I know that I never expected that Rumpy was so caring until Sage got down with arthritis. It was difficult for all of us because her Weimaraner brain didn’t get the message that her body couldn’t do the things she wanted to- like jump and run. Rumpy did not want to leave her for very long and even refused to take long walks. When she left us he mourned for several days.

  3. Jana Rade says:

    I don’t think that all dogs are the same in any respect and I think that the level of caring is different also. I do believe, though, that most of them do step up to the plate when the situation calls for it and they do care when it really matters.

    I also do believe that some are extra special, by which I of course mean dogs like Jasmine, but don’t listen to me, I’m biased :-)

  4. Laura Potts says:

    Oddly I have two dogs, one like Jasmine who is always there to protect and look after (even though she’s a 16 lb Eskie) and the other who is more like Frankie, loves me dearly but I wouldn’t want to ever compete with his canned food.

  5. Laura, it sounds like you have the best of both worlds! :D

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