Most people don't start out having an intense love for dogs; it is something that grows. It can come on quickly or take years in the making. I know people who would never give a dog the time of day; others who's world revolves around the canine species, like me. Even having a dog live with you in your house is not a surefire relationship builder, it still may or may not happen. I think the very first sign that a true bond is occurring is time spent with "the dog." Sadly for many dogs this never happens and they spend their lives as simply that; the dog.
Many dogs spend their days hanging out; they aren't mistreated but their guardian has just never connected with them the way that some do. To know a dog on a very personal level is very different than any other relationship you will ever have. Some of the most intense human/canine relationships are the creation between a "never had a dog before" type person and a new dog. You know the ones who don't get what all the fuss about dogs is about. All your time and hard earned money spent on a dog? It is often these types who are hit the hardest when it happens.
I love to talk to my dogs and they in return are great listeners. As a reactive dog Luke is my most visual listener; with those giant ears of his he stands listening to every word. Although he is a fabulous listener and understands a huge list of words he does not understand all that I am saying. The important part is that he wants to hear what I have to say and I have the same interest in him. My listening to the dogs comes in the form of watching more than listening; their every motion tells me what they are thinking. Although some of the most intense times spent with each other are the quiet times; when my dogs are completely relaxed and laying by my side. The trust that has been forged over years of interactions adds to an amazing bond.
I have often been telling stories of how my dogs communicate to me; when a person will say "how did you know what they were saying?" "How did you know what they wanted?" It is all in the intense bond that we have; and understanding of each other. The slightest variation in behavior let's me know that something is up and may need my attention. Unless dogs are in a deep sleep they are typically communicating in some form. Watch and see.
There is nothing like the trust of an animal; this alone can fill your heart with happiness. As they wriggle their way into your heart, there they stay for the rest of your life. When you open your heart to a dog it is only then that you will know the true greatness. I love all animals; but there is nothing like a dog.