Welcome to May Gems.
Each month, I reach into my treasure trove of quotes and pull out my favourite gems.
I love quotes. They make me laugh, they make me cry and most often, they make me think.
Alas, May is here and every young man’s fancy turns to … animals.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a year-round animal lover.
I came by it quite naturally. I grew up with five cats; Peanuts, Lady, Whacky and Charlotte and my grandmother’s awesome grey angora, Max.
When I was fourteen my dad brought home our first dog and from that first day onwards I turned from being totally smitten with kittens to completely crazy for K9s.
Over the years my parents had two dogs, my brother had one, my sister had five and I had five of my own. Not all at once! Several of our dogs overlapped over the years for a total of thirteen dogs spread across my immediate family.
Dogs are very special to me. And it seems I’m not alone.
There are nearly 6 million dogs in Canada.
Unfortunately, 2 million of those are homeless.
Here are some canine facts that will help you understand why dogs have captured our hearts.
Time – Dogs have a highly developed sense of time. Two Swedish researchers discovered that dogs have an idea of how long you are gone when you leave the house. If trained, they can even predict future events, such as regular walk times!
Intelligence – Dogs are as smart as a two-year-old child. Ever wonder why children around this age seem to have a special bond with the family dog? Think about it; they speak the same language, roughly 250 words and gestures! While they can’t wrap their head around the theory of relatively – they know how to wrap us around their paws.
Therapy – Petting a dog and gazing into their eyes releases oxytocin (the “love hormone”) not only for you but for them as well!
Live fast. Die young – Dogs who have been spayed or neutered live longer than dogs who are intact!
Aromatherapy – Dogs can smell the chemicals released by our bodies when we experience sadness or fear. Because their sense of smell is nearly 100,000 times better than ours, they can detect the signs of fear we exhibit such as our body posture, perspiration and other stress-related hormones. Their wet noses help them absorb these scent chemicals!
Disease detection – Dogs can be trained to detect cancer and other diseases in humans. Cancerous cells release different metabolic waste products than healthy cells and dogs are able to sniff out cancer cells simply through smelling someone’s breath!
Compass – Dogs carefully choose the perfect place to do their business. They use the Earth’s magnetic field when they’re relieving themselves. Not only that, but canines choose to do so in a north-south axis.
Dog Doughnut – Dogs curl up in a ball when they sleep because of an age-old instinct to keep themselves warm and to protect vital organs while they’re asleep!
Dog Accountant – Dogs can count. Just try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and only giving him two!
We’ve all heard that dogs are man’s best friend. Well, I guess they’re doing something right as there are an estimated 600,000 million of them on the planet, That’s a lot of best friends.
By the way, if you’re thinking of getting a dog, please consider adopting. There are over 2 million homeless dogs in Canada. Of those, at least 600,000 are euthanized every year (500,000 in Quebec alone).
There are thousands of dogs waiting to enter rescues in every province who are looking for a new best friend. These statistics are even worse for cats.
Dogs do some pretty zany antics from time to time.
Before you chow down on this month’s serving of Gems, watch the following video and tell me in the comments below which of the dog videos you think is the zaniest.
Friendship is a word that is used a great deal but a real friend is hard to come by. That’s why I believe dog lovers connect with their four-legged friends so deeply.
When other friendships falter or fade, our dog friends will always be at our side.
Whether we leave the house for five minutes, five hours or five days, we can always expect a joyous and excited homecoming!
I’d like to leave you with this thought.
“Lord, help me be the person my dog thinks I am.”