The connection found between humans and dogs is quite a special one. What is it about their presence that enables us to feel so good? After some reflection and a lot of experience I believe dogs enable us to access our deeper more tribal selves without fear of judgement.
When your dog is exploding with excitement to welcome you home from work you are effectively given full permission to also jump, scream and bounce for joy as you return the gesture. Your dog doesn’t know of the social constructs we carry around in our consciousness all day. They just express themselves fully and consequentially enable us to do the same. This is also true with a number of other emotions like disappointment, anger and curiosity.
This got me thinking that the expression of our unrestricted selves is quickly vanishing from our emotional vocabulary. Many of our deeper feelings are often repressed for the sake of saving face, being polite, and or “fitting in”. This is the societal mask of expectation many of us are trained to hold up at work, in public, with our friends and with our family.
Without consciously creating safe spaces for our masks to drop it’s easy to get trapped in a grey coloured world of restriction. I agree we need to have emotional understanding and control but if we don’t explore our own potential we can loose connection to an incredible, powerful and fundamental part of being a human.
The special connection shared between dogs and humans is strong partly because they allow us to access, release and express our deeper tribal selves without a mask.