The bond between humans and dogs spans thousands of years, shaping an intimate relationship that transcends the normal barriers between species. This unique relationship is the focus of our first December 2023 Special with Stacey Colino and Jen Golbeck.
Their book explores the intricate nature of canine-human relationships, focusing on the beneficial aspects for both parties involved.
This episode delves into key insights and discussions from their book, "The Purest Bond: Understanding The Human Canine Connection". It's often seen as a parent-child relationship, but Stacey and Jen highlight that it’s a lot more complex than that. The bond can assume the aura of deep friendship, a safe haven, or, for some, even a tool for deriving a passionate sense of purpose in life. Each dog-human relationship assumes its unique hue depending on what both parties bring to the table. But the golden thread linking all, irrespective of the various configurations, is the mutual love and emotional exchange that ensue, shaping the lives of both humans and their canine companions.
Dogs significantly influence humans' lives– affecting their connections, communities, physiological and emotional states. Evidence from clinical trials, for instance, suggests that dogs and their humans experience a surge in oxytocin—often referred to as the love or cuddle hormone—when there's physical interaction such as petting or even meaningful eye contact.
But what about dogs? Do they reap any benefits from this relationship, or is it a one-way street? Is the relationship with dogs is a two-way emotional street that benefits all involved parties?
The Imperfectly Perfect Bond
It's undeniable that dogs can enrich human lives, but the process of accommodating a dog in one's life is seldom a smooth ride. Navigating through the challenges and reshaping one's lifestyle to fit in with a new dog can pose considerable obstacles and induce anxiety. However, it's important to remember that you get what you give in the process of building and nurturing a bond with a new dog. Stacey and Jen further elaborate that enduring these initial challenges can eventually unlock the door to a profound bond and the benefits embedded within it, making the journey worthwhile despite the initial bumps.
"Understanding the Human Canine Connection" – An Insightful Read Through extensive research, personal experiences, evident love for dogs, and the knack for storytelling, the authors Jen Golbeck and Stacey Colino weaves a compelling narrative that explores the enigmatic bond between humans and dogs. Whether you’re looking to adopt a new canine friend or just curious about the human-dog relationship, "The Purest Bond" makes a fascinating read.
Beyond companionship, the unspoken bond with dogs opens the door to a world filled with emotional bounty, teaching lessons of love, care, empathy, and forming an enriching part of our lives. Understanding the human-canine connection, with all its complexities and perks, allows us to appreciate these wonderful creatures more genuinely and, in the process, enriches our lives in ways we could never have imagined. Happy bonding!
Episode 84 Guests:
Jen Golbeck is the “internet’s dog mom” and creator of the social media sensation The Golden Ratio. A professor at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, she is a popular science communicator on issues related to her research on social media and dogs. Her TED Talks have been viewed by millions and she is a popular keynote speaker who has appeared on NPR, The 11th Hour, and more. Her writing has appeared in Slate, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, and Wired. She and her husband rescue golden retrievers who are senior or who have special medical needs and give them a safe and comfortable life. Find out more at JenGolbeck.com.
Stacey Colino is an award-winning writer specializing in health and psychological issues. Her writing has appeared in US News & World Report, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Parade, National Geographic, and more. She is the coauthor of numerous books, including Count Down, Emotional Inflammation, and Disease Proof. Stacey is a lifelong dog lover and has owned three rescue dogs.
Guest Book Recommendations: The Hidden Life of Dogs by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human by Vint Virga
TikTok: @thegoldenratio4 (
Other Links: @ColinoStacey @jengolbeck @thegoldenratio4
(This blog post was based on an AI generated script and edited by me for accuracy and additional information)