The greatest lesson dogs can teach us is unconditional love. This admirable trait was memorialized in a well-known speech given in 1869 as part of a closing argument in a court case involving the death of a dog.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. . . . He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
People's craving for such love is undoubtedly why dog ownership is so popular. Dogs don't judge us. They don't care what we look like or how much money we make. They don't care if we say or do something stupid. The unconditional nature of their love is the reason dogs are such good therapists in nursing homes and with mentally disturbed people.
The example of unconditional love given to us by our dogs should be followed by us in our relationships with other humans. It is the kind of love that makes us feel that someone will love us no matter what we say or do. They may not like our actions, but they will always love us. It is love without conditions attached to it. Conditional love is the feeling that someone will stop loving you if you do not perform correctly or if you do not act as expected, such as a belief that your parents will stop loving you if you do not get good grades in school or that your husband will leave you if you argue with him.
We can provide others with the same sense of security, acceptance, and love that our dogs give us by giving them unconditional love. Children need it to grow into mentally healthy adults; marriages need it to be happy. It is the greatest gift your dog gives you; it is the best gift you can give to another.
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There are over a hundred registered breeds of dogs. Recognizing the type of the dog is basically associated with its breed. A purebred animal belongs to a documented and acknowledged group of unmixed lineage. Before a breed of dog is recognized, it must be proven that mating two adult dogs of the sametype would have passed on their exact characteristics, both appearance and behavior, to their offspring.