That Crazy Urge to Squeeze Your Dog is Normal and Keeps Him Alive
You're sitting in your apartment, minding your own business, and you glance over at your dog. She's laying on the couch with her head set delicately on a pillow and all of a sudden, you feel the irresistible urge to drop everything you're doing and run over to her, squealing, to ever so gently boop her nose, smoosh your face into hers and tell her she is your whole world. She lets it happen, you get your fill, and you return to your desk to resume your work.
The question remains... WTF just happened?
First of all, this is normal - despite the fact that we usually control our urges in public or when guests are over, the vast majority of us experience this urgent NEED to gush over our dependents - whether they be human or otherwise, for a few intense seconds before returning to normal when the moment passes. Yes, we love them all the time, but what's up with these short bursts of affection that wholly eclipse our ability to do anything be utterly obsessed with them for a minute?
According to The Atlantic, researchers have studied this phenomenon and dubbed it "cute aggression". The good news is, it actually helps us keep our little ones alive. It's a weird burst of affection that over centuries of care taking, our brains have mastered: STEP 1: ACUTELY remind us that our dependent exists and we love the s&%@ out of them. STEP 2: Let that crazy affection pass so we can leave to gather food, retrieve water, and keep them alive. It's basically our body's alarm clock with a memo that reads, "REMEMBER HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THIS THING?! Okay, go make it dinner now."
Aren't our brains insane? You can read the whole article in The Atlantic here and study up on the effects of "cute aggression" before it strikes again.