The Internet Doesn’t Think This Dog Is A Symbol Of Grief, But We Do

Written by: Regina Lizik

November 16, 2015

There is a lot of tragedy in this world. One of the things we all love about dogs is how they respond to these events. Dogs provide unconditional love, care and concern to humans in need.

We’ve seen this time and again with big and little traumas. Therapy dogs comfort victims of mass shootings and bring joy to patients in hospitals. Emotional support animals provide comfort to their humans and psychiatric service dogs know exactly how to help their handler in their time of need.


We also see this in our daily lives with our own dogs. Our dogs know when we have a bad day. They know when we’re experiencing great sadness. They feel it in their hearts. Not everyone believes this, however. But science has backed up this claim this truth, on many occasions.

Dogs understand human emotions based on what we say and how we behave.


Dr. Bonnie Beaver, professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says:

Dogs know [when] something is different, whether the smell changes or they are moving less.

Researcher Gregory Burns says,

Dogs are unique animals, and I think in many ways they’re one of the best animals for understanding social behaviors.

According to science, there’s no doubt that dogs “get” us. More than that, they also care about us.

14. What's most important for this magic dog and magic girl is the lessons they teach each other. Sometimes, it's important get down and dirty at the beach.  "My favorite days are the ones I get to spend with you."

A study at Emory University proved that dogs love us in the same way that we love our family members. They can process and return the emotion of love.

With all of that knowledge, we weren’t surprised when journalist Kay Burley tweeted this image of a dog sitting near one of the sites of the recent terror attacks in Paris:

For dog lovers, it’s not difficult to see the sadness in this dog’s eyes or to understand why he would feel so much emotion when he is surrounded by so many sad humans.

But, it seems the majority of the internet didn’t understand. Scores of Twitter users poked fun at Kay’s tweet. All of these tweets had one underlying message: Dogs don’t feel emotion.

These tweets may be amusing to some, but these sentiments aren’t backed up by science. Kay’s tweet is. Dogs do feel deep emotion. They are sentient beings. Their intelligence levels may not surpass that of a two year old, but their emotional intelligence is high.

So, while some people may choose to make fun of this dog and Kay’s science-backed tweet, we’re going to see this for what it is: A sentient being (aka a dog) who knows that humans all around him are devastated and he doesn’t know how to help – which is exactly how so many of us feel right now in light of the recent tragedies in Paris and all over the world.

h/t Buzzfeed.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Written by: Regina Lizik

November 16, 2015

Nutritionist-crafted food for your dog's breed or mix.

Recipes designed for dogs' individuality



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.