Love is considered to be a strong emotional attachment. It entails displaying attributes such as selfless loyalty, compassion, kindness and affection to others. This is experienced by human beings and animals. Over the years, science has posed questions as to whether animals are capable of love. According to Bekoff and Goodall (2008, 22), animals are capable to bond strongly with each other. Scientists argue that the brain of an animal is similar to that of human beings. This is in respect to the tendencies to show love (Bekoff and Goodal, 23). The human race should be mindful when interacting with animals because they are also capable of showing love. It is evident that animals can forego their needs to form bonds with their masters.
The pet’s ability to form attachments
For many people, dogs and cats are considered as pets. This is facilitated by their ability to form attachments. This is confirmed by reports that the dog has been man’s best friend for a very long time. Since time immemorial, dogs were not only used to follow a scent or emergency food source, but they were also noted for their great companionships. In this case, the bond between the human race and dog species has endured the test of time. In this case, the dogs can love just as human beings live. On many occasions, human being’s brain release a pleasure chemical to signify excitement. This trend has also been found prevalent in certain animals such as dogs. In dogs, there are some emotional displays that they use to depict feelings towards their owners. These would include: drooping ears, wagging of their tails, and drawing back of the lips (Fogle, para. 13). There are people who are opposed to the proposition of emotional attachment between animals and their owners. They often pose the question as to why the animals react the same way even when they are given new owners. They also assert that, the fact that dogs can go after a piece of meat, should not be the basis to conclude that dogs are emotional beings.
On the other hand, scientists have explained that dogs elicit different reactions when insinuating pain or territorial issues (Fogle, para. 16). This is used to explain that dogs might feel different levels of emotions. However, the inner calm and satisfaction that is depicted by dogs is similar to that of humans. Like in humans, this reaction is elicited irrespective of material rewards. The relationship between pets and their human counterparts explains that, to many social species, love is an essential ingredient in fostering good working and living relationships. Pets have over the years evolved. For instance, the cat species have gradually evolved into solitary creatures. With pets, the issue of love and dependency are differentiated by a thin line. In this case, through early learning, pets derive affection tendencies and the bond created may be as a result of love. However, the relationships are affirmed from the aspect of dependencies (Fogle, par. 17).
The significance of sacrifice to love
The definition of love has to include sacrifice. This is the willingness to forego one’s interest on behalf of someone else’s. The dog has been known to surpass this requirement. Once the owner is in potential danger, the dog tries to remedy the situation to the extent of putting itself in mortal danger. The idea behind a pet’s behavior is mainly companion. The fact that there is synchrony between the ideas of the human and the pet indicates that there is a close attachment that goes beyond material niceties. For humans, they seek pets for their playful and loyal personalities. Therefore, there exists a high degree of social interaction between humans and their pets (Fogle, par. 18 – 21).
It is evident that animals are capable to forego their needs to form bonds with their masters. For many, love is the ability to forego one’s needs and fulfill the needs of others. Pets are often household animals that are kept for companionship. Scientists have explained that animals have emotions like human beings. Pets are considered to show love to their masters by going to extreme extents in protecting their owner’s well-being. However, this thesis has elicited a number of questions that are yet to be answered. For instance, does the fact that dogs can go after a piece of meat should be the basis to conclude that dogs are emotional beings? The line between love, attachment, and mutual dependency is very thin. It is true that animals have brains that function. Therefore, with the passage of time, animals will tend to bond with their owner. As such, it will be difficult to distinguish between love, attachments, and those that are due to dependency and instinct. However, regardless of the motive behind such attachments, human beings should always bear in mind that animals are emotional beings and should be handled with care.
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