Gazing into your dog’s eyes

Japanese researchers recently published findings from a study they conducted concerning the bond between dogs and people. Now there is evidence that when our dogs gaze into our eyes with that you- are-everything- to- me look, our bodies and theirs are flooded with oxytocin.

Oxytocin is the hormone of love, nurture, mutual trust and above all, bonding that forms between a parent and child. The study’s results suggest that dogs and humans grow to love and protect each other through a positive-feed-back loop that is controlled by oxytocin.

These findings actually shed light on an evolutionary mystery: How did two species cease mutual aggression and learn to live together. Not only did we learn to live together, but we each have mastered how to read the other’s facial cues, and to love one another. The attachment between dog and people mimics the relationship between mother and child.

Dr.Brian Hare a researcher at Duke University and founder of Dognition, thinks that dogs have taken advantage of our parental sensitivities. They use behaviors such as staring into our eyes to generate feelings of social reward and caretaking behavior. In other words, we think of them as our children.

I can honestly agree with Dr. Hare because I regularly refer to Watson as the “boy.” So, I guess the smart thing to do is gaze into your dog’s eyes and enjoy the feeling of being important to another being. Nothing can brighten a day better than an adoring friend.


Pauline Friedrich has volunteered at CAPS for the past seven years. Pauline is Watson’s idol and the reason why Watson has his happy-ever-after home. She is a wonderful, caring person who gives selflessly to many charities. Pauline is a super volunteer and is willing to do anything for the animals from cleaning compounds to giving shots. It was her urging that prompted me to come out to meet Watson. She told me he was a good boy and she was right. Her love and commitment to CAPS is amazing. A huge thank you goes out to Pauline for her Tender Loving Care and XOXO from Watson.


Great news! This week’s pet personality has found her happy-ever-after home. Chloe, a pit bull-Chihuahua cross puppy, had the gumption to survive parvo. She has found that special someone who will spoil her with love and attention. We have other exceptionally darling puppies and kitties who are waiting for their forever home; come out and meet them. CAPS’ policy, however, prohibits adopting out puppies or kittens under the age of six months to a home with children under five years of age. This is to protect both the children and the animal.


Be sure to mark Saturday, May 9, on your calendars for our annual Bark in the Park 5K walk/run, which will be held in honor of David Martinez. The first 100 to cross the finish line will receive a medal. Bark in the Park will be at the fairgrounds. Complete details are available on the CAPS website.

CAPS will be at Walmart on May 23 with Ki and our Kissin’ Booth . Ki really looks forward to being there and seeing friends. Don’t disappoint Ki, so come by. CAPS also has new designs of hoodies, shirts and other items for you or your honey.

Flower Tree Nursery is raffling a 15-gallon Prairie-Fire crab apple tree. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets. Be sure to get your tickets soon. The drawing date will be announced later, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win.

CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me

Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.


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