Updated: Oct 9, 2020
I always knew it, although I did not have a way to prove it.
After a long day at the office, he receives me with the overflowing joy typical of someone who has missed you. Without even waiting for me to put my briefcase down, he comes over to kiss and caress me. He lies on the sofa and invites me to do the same. Staring into my eyes, he conveys the love he feels for me without even saying a word. And I believe him.
It does not matter how my day was, if the traffic was worse than ever, or if the internet signal at the office was lost. He knows how to prompt a smile from me and to make me feel that the world is in its place. We go out for a walk at his insistence, just the two of us. It is usually my only walk of the day. How does he know how much I need it? Ours is a serenely predictable ritual that has been strengthening our closeness.
I refuse to believe that I lived so long without his company; to think that I was convinced that I knew what is was to be happy before. It shows you how little I knew about life, of the value of establishing intensely deep ties, of surrendering to the delicious dependence of an embrace. Yes, I always knew that I felt different from the moment he entered my life, but how could I prove it?
I got my answer today. It’s the Oxytocin! Also called the hormone of love and attachment, it is the same hormone that is secreted when mother and child stare at each other or when lovers placidly cuddle, nurturing in both instances a dependency on each other. Dependency: a livelong adaptive survival mechanism. That’s it! In a seminal study published in the journal “Science”, Japanese scientist Takefumi Kikusui, from the University of Azabu, discovered that when master and dog look at each other, oxytocin levels rise in both.
Oh, my sweet Charlie, I always knew it, but today I was able to find scientific proof. Our love is true. The world is truly in its place.
Let’s release some feeling good hormones today, look at your pet in the eyes and give him a bear hug (no pun intended)