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  • Alvin: So when you get your dog, and youre like 11 years oldthey never tell you what

  • to expect down the road.

  • The only thing that they tell you is... "You have to clean after your dog."

  • This is Alvin and his dog Rainbow.

  • They spent 18 years together since Alvin was just 11, and last year...

  • My dog was dying, and I couldn’t work.

  • When a dog's dyingit really does feels like a human is dying and

  • there’s a reason for that.

  • Keep going!

  • Come here!

  • When I graduated college, my parents went away to work abroad and so when Rainbow was

  • 10 years old, she came to live with me in New York.

  • Everytime my dog got sick or every time I had to go home at 6 o’clock to feed my dog

  • I was a 22 year old, I didn’t really know how to do that.

  • But eventually we kind of figured out how to talk to each other.

  • We figured out what each other needed.

  • Even as she was losing her vision, and her hearing, and her continencethere still

  • was that communication.

  • Dogs are the most popular pet in the USmore than one in three households have one.

  • And if youre among them, you can probably relate to this non-verbal communication that

  • Alvin’s talking about.

  • The relationship dates back tens of thousands of years, when wolves and humans became companions.

  • Scientists disagree about whether it was wolves or humans that initiated the relationship,

  • but both stood to benefit.

  • One anthropologist, Pat Shipman, believes a hunting alliance between wolf-dogs and people

  • helps explain why humans survived while Neanderthals died out.

  • Shipman: I think our relationship with animals has really been fundamental to our survival.

  • And by starting this cooperative arrangement with wolves or wolf-dogs, we began laying

  • the foundation for relationship we have with animals, we have domesticated today.

  • But the idea of non-working, dependent animals is fairly new.

  • The wordpetwas first used in the early 1500s to describe spoiled children orany

  • person indulged or treated as a favorite.”

  • Then by the mid-sixteenth century, the word took on animals as well, specifically orphan

  • lambs that needed to be raised by hand.

  • These days, 86% of adult pet-owners in the US say that they consider their pets part

  • of their family.

  • According to historian Katherine Grier, the reason we began caring for animals is "... connected

  • to changing ideas about human nature, emotional life, individual responsibility, and our society's

  • obligations to all kinds of dependent others.."

  • That empathy easily extends to dogs, who weve had social relationships with for thousands

  • of years.

  • Shipman: Because were both genetically programmed for that interaction.

  • We have helped the survival of the ones that communicate better with us.

  • There’s a lot of evolution underlying this.

  • And that gives us that feeling with our cats and dogs, that theyre basically

  • furry family members.

  • To understand the human-dog relationship, some psychologists have invoked a concept

  • called Attachment Theory.

  • Most humans have this biological need to form attachments with other humans.

  • This idea was first developed by a British psychiatrist, John Bowlby.

  • And he believed that evolution programmed humans to form attachments to boost their

  • chances of survival.

  • First, it’s your mom and then you find other people...

  • Like your friends or romantic partners.

  • But researchers have found that we can form these attachments with our pets as well.

  • Especially dogs.

  • Studies have shown that dogsinteractions with their owners are similar in some ways

  • to infantsresponses to their mothers.

  • They experience separation anxiety and look for  their owners when under stress.

  • [Dog crying]

  • It’s a much more simpler relationship.

  • I struggle with with anxiety a lot. A lot of times, it's anxiety about other human beings.

  • And having a dog who I never had to question, whether or not, my dog loved me or

  • whether or not my dog wanted to be around me.

  • It was such an honest relationship.

  • It might be a silly...

  • A silly thing to cling to but it was important.

  • It was definitely important for survival.

  • I think that plays a part in why I was so thankful for her.

  • Researchers have found that interacting with a dog can reduce stress hormones and

  • blood pressure.

  • But the unusual bond we form with dogs

  • a bond tens of thousands of years in the making

  • it means that saying goodbye is... hard.

  • I remember one day I came home and I said I think I have to call the vet

  • I called my mom and couldn't say it.

  • I just couldn't tell her that I was scheduling my dog’s death, essentially.

  • And...

  • Literally that night I went to a bar and from the back of the bar I Googled

  • How do you know when it’s time for your dog

  • And...

  • All the... everything that I read....

  • Not really helpful, because I just knew it was time.

  • I just wanted someone to tell me that it wasn’t time for my dog...

  • There are 2 shots.

  • The first shot calms your dog down, and the second one stops your dog's heart.

  • And the vet asked me "Do you want... Just tell me when..."

  • "Whenever youre ready.”

  • And...

  • It's like... what do you say?

  • Okay, I’m ready?”

  • Soit was very mechanical.

  • Okay, go ahead

  • okay, go ahead.”

  • And a lot of the feelings I was having...

  • They were very similar to when my grandma had passed away.

  • I was there during her last days... and

  • we knew she was passing. She was in hospice care.

  • It was a feeling of... both

  • it is time.

  • You've meant so much to me...

  • and I'm so thankful, and I don’t know how to tell you.

  • So the reason it feels like a human has died is because dogs are a lot like us.

  • Their life arc is our life arc.

  • From city to suburb, from tragedy to bliss.

  • And...

  • when they pass away, that’s what we lose.

  • Luna... Aww...

  • [Laughing]

  • This video was based on an article that Alvin wrote last year about losing Rainbow.

  • I'll link the article down below, make sure to read it.

Alvin: So when you get your dog, and youre like 11 years oldthey never tell you what

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為什麼失去狗狗就像失去家人一樣的感覺? (Why losing a dog feels like losing a family member)

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