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Shirley Zindler
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The Best Things About Dogs

In my job as an Animal Control Officer, I spend 10 hours a day working with dogs and then come home to a houseful of my own dogs. I love dogs and it’s such an honor to spend my life in their company. Anyone who has a close relationship with a dog would likely agree that dogs share many of our emotions, social needs and characteristics. Dogs are often our closest non-human companions. Horses, cats, birds and some other animals can bond very tightly to humans too but dogs most consistently choose to willingly follow us on almost any adventure or trial.

Studies have shown that dogs communicate better with humans and understand us better than any other animal on earth. In studies asking multiple species including dogs and non-human primates to interpret human body language to find a treat, only dogs understood human communications consistently.

People get very excited to think of dogs as little people in fur coats but I find the best thing about dogs is their very “dogness.” I have a lot of wonderful people in my life but sometimes no one can comfort or share a day with me in the way a dog can. My human family loves me but they don’t go into transports of delight ever every time I walk into the room. When I get home from work and my dogs greet me and then I take them for a run, I can feel the stresses of the day start to fade. They race and play with the same joy and abandon every single day.

Dogs live so fully in the moment. They never say, gee, I’m tired of this same walk, same ball chase, same Dog Park etc. It’s new, and fun, each time. Dogs find joy in the simplest of things. Just about anything I want to do, my dogs think is a blast. My wonderful friends and family are great to spend time with but they aren’t always available, or don’t always want to do the things I want to do. My dogs have never once said no thanks or I’m not in the mood, to a car ride, a hike, a cuddle or any other adventure. Not once.

Dogs are the perfect blend of similar enough to us enough to enjoy most of the things we do, and unique enough to be fascinating in their own right. Dogs are just perfect as they are.

Let us know what special “dog” things your furry companion does that make you glad he’s a dog.

 

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Shirley Zindler is an animal control officer in Northern California, and has personally fostered and rehomed more than 300 dogs. She has competed in obedience, agility, conformation and lure coursing, and has done pet therapy. Zindler just wrote a book The Secret Lives of Dog Catchers, about her experiences and contributes to Bark’s blog on a regular basis.

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Submitted by mike | October 18 2013 |

Our newest dog was abandoned at a nearby state park and turned out to be deaf. I've lived with dogs all my 60 years, but this is the first deaf one. I've found her deafness reduces her human communication somewhat which results in retaining more natural or "raw" dog traits than my hearing dogs. I have learned to use more dog-like forms of communication and that has helped me to better interact with all dogs I meet.

Submitted by shirley zindler | October 19 2013 |

How lucky she is to have found you. I fostered a deaf Pit Bull who was extremely bright and learned hand signals and to "watch me" very quickly. He was a challenge until he learned what was expected. He found a wonderful home with a deaf family.

Submitted by Carolyn | October 18 2013 |

A link to nature through her athleticism, her nose and her absolute zest for life. She makes me feel more alive. I love to enjoy, and even, become a part of, nature with her.

Submitted by shirley zindler | October 19 2013 |

Beautiful!

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Lost Dog Recovers From Tick Attack
Amber Turns the Corner
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Learning Dog Social Skills
More Lessons from Hernando
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Saving Abandoned Pups
Homeless People and Their Dogs
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