Dear Dr. Donna,

Does unconditional love really exist?
—Looking for love

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Dr. Donna Says . . .

Dear Frustrated,

Not to be too cliché, but … perhaps you’re looking in all the wrong places.

However, to answer your real question … yes, but I have found that it usually comes with four furry feet and a tail.

Dogs are the truest, most sincere form of unconditional love, not to mention great wisdom about love.

Here is just a sampling of what dogs naturally know about love:

Be loyal. Always.
Take long walks with your loved ones.
And on those long walks, take time to smell the roses—every single one.
Always share your treats.
Never bite if growling will suffice.
Dig and dig and dig until you find what you’re looking for.
Curl up together for daily naps.
Give lots of slobbery kisses.
Defend those you love.
Always run to greet your loved ones when they come home.
Love whatever you’re doing at that moment.

Really, if we all just acted more like our dogs, the world would have a lot more love. So, doggone it, get a pup from the pound!

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Someone Once Said . . .

“Be the person your dog thinks you are!”
—J. W. Stephens

“Some days you’re the dog; some days you’re the hydrant.”
—Author Unknown

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”
—Marilyn Monroe

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
—Ann Landers

“A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.”
—Author Unknown

“A dog desires affection more than its dinner. Well, almost.”
—Charlotte Gray

“The best therapist has fur and four legs.”
—Author Unknown

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Recommended Reading

For more info on the topic of dogs and love. All synopses from amazon.com:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Really Did That? 101 Stories of Miracles, Mischief and Magical Moments by Amy Newmark

With a focus on rescue dogs, these 101 true, personal stories will make you laugh, nod your head in recognition, and sometimes tear up a little. Royalties from the book go to American Humane Society, one of the organizations that Chicken Soup for the Soul supports in its broad program to help care for shelter animals and promote adoption.

For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend by Patricia B. McConnell

Yes, humans and canines are different species, but current research provides fascinating, irrefutable evidence that what we share with our dogs is greater than how we vary. As behaviorist and zoologist Dr. Patricia McConnell tells us in this remarkable book about emotions in dogs and in people, more and more scientists accept the premise that dogs have rich emotional lives, exhibiting a wide range of feelings including fear, anger, surprise, sadness, and love.

How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain by Gregory Berns

The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that’s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly “man’s best friend.” But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?

Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

In this heartwarming gift book, author Rebecca Ascher-Walsh presents a collection of inspiring dog stories and touching photos—dogs who comfort veterans, dogs who learn to surf, dogs who detect cancer, and dogs who save the day: Each one is devoted. These 38 uplifting dog stories showcase the most amazing dog rescues, accomplishments, and abilities that fascinate us and touch our hearts.

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Donna Roberts is a native upstate New Yorker who lives and works in Europe. She holds a Ph.D., specializing in the field of Media Psychology. When she is researching or writing she can usually be found at her computer buried in rescue cats.