Issue Five

Dog Blog Issue Five

We looked at our pup’s experiences with bonding and fear in the last issue, and it’s clear that happiness and fear are two emotions puppies develop at an early stage.

As our pup makes the transition from life with her siblings and mum, she will make the strongest bond of all - with her new K9MD whānau. The entire K9MD Team are excited to meet her and our new pup also has a lovely new foster family who are eagerly awaiting her arrival.

The next 12 months will be fun, challenging and stimulating, and we’ll be putting her wellbeing at the top of the list to make sure we nurture a happy, independent, and confident medical detection dog who loves her work.

We know dogs have feelings, and how many times have we said “if only they could talk”. Life would be so much easier if we knew what was going on in their minds. But there is a lot we can discern by carefully watching our dogs, being present when they are with us, and learning to understand the messages they send us in other ways.

There’s an interesting article in Discover Magazine about dogs’ feelings and what they think about. Dogs have the same brain structures, hormone and chemical production during emotional states that humans have at about the age of two to two-and-a-half. They have the love and affection hormone oxytocin, and can experience joy, fear, anger, disgust, excitement, contentment and of course distress.

Apparently, they can’t experience more complex emotions such as guilt, pride, contempt, and shame, those are definitely human feelings but dogs are empathetic to the humans they bond with, that’s for sure. Anyone who has had a dog nuzzle you with comfort when you’re feeling sad or unwell will attest to that, and that’s why dogs make such wonderful companions and therapy buddies.

At K9MD we are absolutely all about making sure our dogs have positive experiences every day. They give so much by letting us make use of their excellent noses, so the least we can do in return is make their days fun and full of love. Next issue, we’ll talk more about that incredible sense of smell and we’ll look at how our little pup will be starting her first steps towards learning to be a cancer detective.