In my previous post, we established that dog owners tend by and large to be conscientious, responsible, social, active, and fun-loving. If that’s not enough to convince you to choose a dog owner as your next new friend, here are five more great qualities shared by most dog owners:
People Walking A Dog Are Approachable. If you see someone out and about with a dog, it’s easy to start a conversation. A recent survey found that 95% of respondents said they’d be more likely to approach a stranger who has a dog because they feel just a little less nervous about the whole affair.
Dog Owners are Empathic. There is a thing called emotional contagion, where we respond to the emotions we see even when we don’t understand them. Dog owners have to do their fair share of mind reading, emotion detection, and mood assessment. We all know that, despite the debate regarding emotion in animals, our pups experience and display a variety of valid feelings, and dog owners get in the habit of being sensitive to this. This makes them nice companions for humans as well—willing to tune in to and caring about your joys and worries expressed or otherwise.
Because they are so willing to show us their vulnerabilities, if you own a dog you have been shown how to forgive. And, on a lighter note, this can be said of cat owners as well. Our friends from the animal world that we allow to share our lives and homes just don’t mean to do some of the things they do. (Well, okay, sometimes they do. Maybe we did need to be punished for leaving them at home without us.) It’s like a grandchild, or a frat brother—sometimes messes just happen. You clean it up and move on. This is both a healthy and important attitude.
(An aside: I have a friend who had to leave her twin granddaughters with her husband for the morning. When she got home both the girls were running around without diapers and there were upside-down pie tins all over the house. The explanation? When it became necessary to change their diapers, Dempsey had simply removed the spoiled offenders and as the day had moved on, simply marked ‘accidents’ with the pie tins so Billie could take care of any ‘problems’ when she returned.)
Most dog owners are good companions. The majority of dog owners find comfort in the companionship they have with their dogs and are open to friendship which may even lead to a relationship if that’s in the cards. (However, I do have one observation here: I have a good friend who is a life-long bachelor and has been content with the exclusive company of his various dogs for most of the time I’ve known him.) If I dog smells another dog on you they don’t get mad. They just think it’s interesting.
Loyalty is usually a trait you will often find in a good dog owner. My friend Jean raises companion dogs and I don’t know if she taught them or they taught her, but you won’t find a more loyal, giving human on the planet than Jean. I think it’s because she feels undeserving of how much her dogs love her, but she shouldn’t. She takes those dogs to schools and hospitals and every place where they will cheer people up and make the day brighter. Her friends count on her, her husband counts on her, and everywhere she goes people’s lives are better because of her loyalty and service.
For me, Jean embodies all the good qualities of dog owners, and is a great example of why if you are in the market for a new friend, you might want to look at the end of a dog leash.