Lovability as an evolutionary adaptation
Dogs manage to maintain their loveabilty, even as they age. Human beings respond to their cuteness by nurturing. We relate to pets much in the way we treat our own children.
We see the combination of cuteness and dependence, which triggers our impulse to protect and coddle. They don’t hide their vulnerability like we do. This could be an evolutionary adaptation, to ensure someone will take care of them. Cranky old humans take heed.
3-D sense of smell
It appears that it’s quite likely that dogs can smell fear, anxiety, even sadness. No wonder dogs seem to suffer greatly from divorce or empty nest. They also have been sad victims of the mobile phone obsession which has brought them very few conveniences but has shifted the attention of their owners tremendously.
Dogs do yoga instinctively (or attend Doga classes). If we followed their lead we’d be stretching first thing in the morning and several times throughout the day. We would also be complaining less about back pain.
Old dogs, much like infants, nap nearly all day. They can sleep 22 hours in a day. They tire more easily and nap to get strength they need to function for a few minutes here and there. It comes down to listening to their bodies. Are you listening?
Learning to be still with an aging dog is perhaps the greatest lesson of all. At their age, that’s all they really want. Marley just wants to hang with people that love her. She knows who they are. She’s right beside me now, nudging me to get off the computer. So I will end here and give her my full attention. She has taught me about stillness. A lot happens in stillness. It’s the least we can do for a creature who is all about love and connection.