I’ve been sleeping in this summer. My dog, who sleeps in the bed with me, loves this. He stays until I’m awake, looks to make sure I am awake and he has caught my eye, then he rolls over and exposes his belly for rubs.
I rub his belly, which he loves. He tilts his head way back and I rub his neck from chin to chest. He’ll also head butt me wanting head hugs and for me to rub his face from nose back and forth, across his eyes to his ears.
I got to thinking.
Dogs can’t do these things for themselves. They also don’t do it for each other. Not really. Not like a person can.
I also got to thinking about skin hunger. It’s something humans have; the need for touch. They’ve done studies. Babies deprived of cuddling, fondling, touching fail to thrive. If you don’t die from skin hunger, it certainly effects your well-being and mental health in a negative manner.
Could animals have skin hunger too? I see them rubbing and cuddling on TV. Cows lick their calves. Cats lick each other and rub the legs of their slaves, er, owners.
Could skin hunger be one of the reasons dogs became domesticated? Along with all of the other reasons, could it be that dogs found that the touch of humans relieved their skin hunger in a way that their fellow pack could not?