Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.

Katharine Hepburn


Sasha KissesFebruary is the month that places great emphasis on the emotion of LOVE. One day every year is set aside for all of us to profess our love to those around us. I always wonder, why only one day? How would our relationships be different if we expressed, not only our deep love, but also appreciation, admiration, joy, and excitement towards those we love EVERY DAY. I love my husband, I love my daughter, and I love my friends. But the emotion of love generated when I think of my dogs is different. It is extraordinarily different. The interesting thing about loving a dog is that everything about the relationship is pure and unconditional. There is no judgment, no “over-thinking”, no anger, and no disappointment. What is interesting about this relationship is that neither human nor dog are looking to receive anything. We both are in giving mode all the time and by the sheer act of giving, we receive so much.


When I taught group dog training lessons, I always asked people to describe how their Henry Gila Dogvergnugendogs greeted them. I wanted to know details on how their dogs behaved in their presence and, in turn, how that made them feel. Everyone agreed that the emotions generated simply by being in the presence of their dog created a wonderful calm and great joy in them. They also agreed that these emotions and feelings were generated simply because of what the dog was giving them unconditionally: companionship, attentiveness. The mere presence of their dog created the sense of being needed, and a sense of feeling important and special.


BoloWithout asking for a thing (except maybe a treat now and then) our dogs teach us about compassion, loyalty, patience, kindness, caring, and unconditional love. A relationship with a dog is unlike any other relationship- but could you imagine the impact on our spouses, children, parents, or friends if we greeted them with the same enthusiasm of a dog? Can you imagine what a positive difference it would make if we just listened and focused completely on those we love as they speak? Can you imagine how our relationships and connections would improve if we truly loved unconditionally and made our family and friends feel special and important every single day?


As Valentines Day approaches, stop running around to find the perfect gift, best chocolates, gorgeous roses, or sexy lingerie, and just start treating those you love as your dog treats you…. If you do it everyday rather than reserve it for just one day a year, my guess is you will build extraordinary relationships and will find yourself incredibly happy all year long. Dogs