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What if I told you dogs don't care about us at all?
That would make me so sad... What?
Before I got Murphy, I talked about getting a dog for like two years straight.
I decided to just walk into the animal shelter one day.
Louis was the only one next to the mom so I could tell he was the youngest and like the shyest.
And within five minutes we saw Marty and we signed the papers.
I think I remember one time I just had a breakdown and she just walked over and kissed my face and I was like, "You know, this is okay."
We call him the joy of our lives.
I was in a wheel chair for a little bit and having her sit with me in my bed every day when I was in recovery was the greatest comfort.
Everyone I was really close with started moving away one by one.
I never had a chance to be really lonely because I always had Louis with me.
So would you say that you love Murphy?
Yeah.
Yes. I love Ella.
And do you feel like Ella loves you?
Yeah definitely.
I think Louis loves me, yeah.
What if I told you that there was a lot of scientific thought that dogs don't actually care about us at all?
Uh.
What? What... what are the details?
Well we can get to those.
They're little bone shaped.
Bad news comes in cute packages, apparently.
So it says in the 19th century, naturalist Charles Darwin traveled the world on the HMS Beagle, leading to the formulation of his theory of evolution.
Darwin later wrote extensively about the possibility that dogs have rich emotional lives, but couldn't prove it.
The true modern era of dog research began with scientist, Ivan Pavlov.
Pavlov is most famous for his discovery that dogs who had heard a bell and were given food eventually began to salivate merely at the sound of the bell even when no food was present.
This gave rise to behaviorism and the belief among the scientific community that dogs are merely robotic creatures who give us affection not because they love us but because they know it will lead us to giving them food.
Marty, do you love me?
Looks away.
And so for a century, this view held.
Dogs were not our best friends, they were just what one science writer called, "Con artist at the very top of profession."
Simply put, dogs did not and could not love us.
That makes me really sad because I love you so much.
Murphy you're a liar?
I'm hoping this is not true though.
I feel like something is coming.
Hi this is Dr. Gregory Berns, I'm a neuroscientist in Atlanta, Georgia and I always wanted to know whether dogs love us like the way we love them.
But of course they can't tell us so I had to figure out a different way to do it.
I used MRI and trained my dog to go in an MRI so I could look at her brain and see what she's thinking and feeling while she interacted with me.
And pretty soon we had a group of a dozen dogs doing MRI's.
And one of the things that we found was that the reward center of a dog's brain responds to the sound of the human's voice praising them as much and in many cases more than food itself.
And what this shows is that dogs really do care about the social bond as much and in many cases more than just the provision of food.
I think like many dog owners realize is that they're amazing creatures with kind of the depth of emotion that goes beyond what scientists used to think in that they are very much capable of love.
It's certainly in their way and very much like we humans love each other too.
Awe... I'm gonna cry.
Oh...
You do love me Murph?
Marty, did you hear that?
That makes me really happy.
I feel like I can sort of more freely say that she is also my best friend now.
I'm sorry boyfriend but my best friend's my dog.
I'm really glad that our feelings are mutual and I hope Louis loves me forever.
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Proof That Your Dog Loves You

2770 Folder Collection
Ginger Liu published on April 20, 2019    Ginger Liu translated    Evangeline reviewed
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