Some of you who’ve seen my Facebook post know that we had to say goodbye to our last four-legged member of the Kingsbury George family on Monday – February 1st. So it seems appropriate to feature a few photos of Samson on this first Friday without him. Anyone with pets will tell you how hard it is to lose them – they do become part of your family.
Rick told me about a study yesterday that measured oxytocin in the blood as an indicator of affection. For humans, when we have a pleasant interaction with a stranger, oxytocin levels rise slightly, with a friend a bit more and after an interaction with someone we love, oxytocin levels can increase by 50%. The study measured oxytocin levels in cats and dogs after an interaction with their owner. No surprise – dogs love you more. After interacting with their human, dogs’ oxytocin levels shot up by as much as 55% – cats, a mere 12%. More than the difference between cats and dogs, I think the study means that dogs love you even more than other humans do. That’s some kind of love!
You can read more about Samson and our special relationship on my other blog. Suffice it to say that the house feels a little emptier and it will take awhile to adjust to the first time in 21 years that we haven’t shared our home with an animal.
We’ve had cats and dogs as pets so this is not a plug for one or the other. But it is a post about Samson. As Rick would say – “he was part of the pack.” I think that’s the main difference between cats and dogs – cats provide affection, comfort and companionship to their owner, but by their nature, they’re not pack animals. Whereas dogs, domesticated by humans over thousands of years, interact with us as if we are the same species. With dogs, there is no them and us – we’re all the same.
The human race could learn a few important lessons from our canine friends.