Man’s Best Friend… Literally


I have the craziest of all dogs. Her name is Ziggy Stardust, and she is a chocolate lab and almost two years old. When I say she’s crazy, I mean that Marley (Marley and Me) has NOTHING on Ziggy. I have made countless trips to the Emergency Vet office at 3:00 am, spent a crazy amount of money on vet bills, new shoes, books, pillows, and whatever else she could get her paws on, and experienced a level of anger I didn’t know existed when she ate the head off of my stuffed animal that I have had since I was one year old. HOWEVER, even with all of the craziness, I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

Ziggy is one of those dogs who you just can’t help but laugh at when you look at her. She’s a special dog – really. When she was 9 weeks old, another dog popped her on the snout and broke through Ziggy’s sinus cavity. After that, the vet just started referring to her as special. Special and crazy, Ziggy is the best dog ever.

She gives me so much joy and comforts me when times are hard. We all experience hard times, and over the past year my family has experienced many.  Even at times when I was really down, I could always count on Ziggy to make me smile. She is always there to listen (and yes, I am one of those weirdos who talks to my dog) and always there to snuggle up and let me know that things will be okay. In my opinion, pets are the perfect cure for lonely or sad days. Interestingly, research seems to agree with me.

In 2009, Lawrence Kurdek examined people’s attachment to their pet dogs. Using Ainsworth’s (1991) four-feature model, attachment figures were deemed as someone who is adored for physical nearness and accessibility; missed when absent; a dependable source of comfort; and is turned to in times of distress. The last aspect is of particular interest to me. The study found that on average, participants were more likely to turn to their dogs in times of emotional distress than to mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, best friends, and children. In fact, only romantic partners were rated more highly than dogs. So… if you are single, in a long-distance relationship, or your spouse is stationed far away, man’s best friend might be just what you need!

Visit your local animal shelter to find out how to adopt a pet in your area. You won’t regret it : )

Kate Taylor Harcourt


Kurdek, L. (2009). Pet dogs as attachment figures for adult owners. Journal of Family Psychology , 23 (4), 439-446. DOI: 10.1037/a0014979


Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Man’s Best Friend… Literally”

  1. Mary Ellen Says:

    I love this Kate Taylor and I do agree 100% I can not imagine life without loving furry creatures!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: