Dogs are man’s best friend for a good reason

Published 12:07 am Sunday, September 15, 2013

Females have always intrigued me. Understanding how they tick is a fascinating process for those of us who are missing a small piece of chromosome turning a female XX chromosome into a male XY chromosome.

Two women in my life are at once similar and vastly different.

Several years ago after the first one entered my life, a friend suggested reading a book titled “The 5 Love Languages,” written by Gary Chapman.

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The book describes what the author suggests are the five different “love languages” that each of might speak.

The languages are: Words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts and physical touch.

Although it all sounds kind of gushy, it makes perfect sense. Not all of us are created the same. Some folks feel loved when they receive a gift, others when they get a hug. Others feel loved when someone says nice things to them. We’re all different.

Most people have only one prominent love language, though some may exhibit more than one.

The crazy thing is one of the women in my life exhibits all five love languages, making it a challenge for me to keep her feeling fully loved.

Starting from the top with words of affirmation, she absolutely loves hearing her name uttered, particularly being told she’s being good or that she’s pretty — that one is somewhat universal. Who doesn’t like hearing they’re good and attractive?

But for my woman, it makes her jump up and get excited. She’ll shake with excitement.

Love language No. 2, acts of service, is also high on the princess’s list of needs. She feels loved every time I make her dinner, clean up after her or draw a bath for her.

Love language No 3 is one of her favorites — quality time. She finds few things better than just hanging out. Although occasionally she needs some “me” time and seeks to be alone, mostly she’s quite social and seeks my company.

The last two languages also top her list — receiving gifts and physical touch.

Few things in life are better in her mind than having her belly gently rubbed or fingers caressing her behind her ears. An exception would be gifts. She loves most any gift, so long as it’s meat, preferably bacon.

When Suzy became part my life after I married Julie five years ago, who knew I’d spend so much time trying to keep a small black and white dog feeling loved.

Her younger sister, the loveable, but far less intelligent Dachshund, Alice, is far easier to please. Alice is all about touch. So long as you have a hand touching her she feels loved. No need for gifts — though she has a strange penchant for, of all things, lettuce.

Understanding and enjoying their love for the humans in the house and the humans’ love for the two four-legged creatures makes our family more complex, but also more complete. Dogs are called “man’s best friend” for good reason. Many of them can be extremely loyal and protective companions.

Suzy and Alice seem to appreciate their new lives. Both had somewhat shady pasts — or at least secretive pasts. Both dogs were adopted from the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society’s shelter. Because of how Suzy reacts to raised hands and fly swatters, we tend to think she may have been abused by someone years ago, but we’ll never know for sure.

This Saturday, dogs who are loved and give love back will be on display at the 21st annual Bark in the Park fundraiser at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians on Jeff Davis Boulevard. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features food, fun and dog contests. If you want to see love languages in action, come out to the Bark in the Park. If you want to experience some love, please consider adopting a pet from the shelter. They’ll love you for it.


Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or