17 Weird and Wonderful Ways Your Dog Says They Love You

17 Weird and Wonderful Ways Your Dog Says They Love You

Our dogs have a unique and charming way of expressing their love. Whether it’s a gentle nuzzle, a joyful bark, or the irresistible warmth of a furry cuddle, our dogs have a language of love that goes beyond words. With Valentine’s Day coming up and February being the month of Love, we thought it would be fun to share all the adorable, sweet, and even weird ways your dog says, “I love you.”
Licking is one of the more obvious ways dogs show affection. For dogs, it is a way to bond with their owners.
When dogs lean their full weight against you, it signifies complete trust. This means your dog sees you as a protector. Your dog may do this for comfort, but when they lean against you, it is the equivalent of a full-body hug.
Bringing You Their Toys
Presenting you with their prized possessions is a major sign of affection. They could be bringing you gifts since they see you as the head of the household. If the toy is broken, they may see you as an intelligent who can fix it for them, a sign that they trust you with this important task. Plus, wanting to play is a sign of puppy love!
Nudging You With Their Nose
Nose nudging can mean things like craving attention, wanting to be a pet, or loving you. Any one of those is a sign that your dog wants to be near you and wants physical contact.
Making a Big Sigh
Soft vocalizations, like sighs and groans, are the signs of contentment in dogs. When you hear your furry buddy do that, it means they are happy.
Making Eye Contact
Long gazes are reserved for people they feel very comfortable with. Maintaining eye contact with your dog helps deepen your bond. When your dog looks at you, the brain releases oxytocin, which is the hormone that mothers’ brains release when they bond with their puppies.
Sleeping Near You
Dogs love to sleep in packs for protection. If your dog feels the need to sleep in your bed, or at least in your room, it’s because they see you as a member of the pack, a family member.
Showing You Their Belly
Nothing says they trust you more than your dog rolling onto their back and asking for a belly rub. Since a dog’s tummy is one of their most vulnerable parts, this act puts them in total submission, the ultimate signal of love and trust.
Following You Around
Since they are pack animals, dogs always want to be with you. It’s part of their genetics to follow you everywhere because they consider you a part of their pack. But they also do it because they enjoy your company and might suffer from FOMO or the fear of missing out.
If you have ever seen your companion flash their teeth at you, that’s a smile. Most people don’t notice it, but it is a way of expressing affection.
Raising Their Eyebrows
According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, dogs have evolved a special eye muscle to better communicate with humans. They are able to move their eyebrows and make that sad, sweet puppy dog face that tugs at our heartstrings.
Wagging Their Tail
Tail wagging is often misunderstood and might not always be a good thing, But if your dog’s tail is relaxed, raised at about mid-height, moving in a circular motion, and causing a full body wag, that’s a sure sign that your dog is happy and excited to see you.
Jumping Around
Jumping around is a sign of excitement in dogs but can also be an unwanted behavior. Here’s where positive reinforcement training comes in handy.
This might not be your favorite expression of love, but it is healthy and can benefit a dog’s social development. You should use training to ensure that roughhousing doesn’t go too far. That means teaching your dog not to bite or bark during rough play.
Getting Jealous
In dog language, jealousy is a sign that your dog really likes your attention and wants to keep you all to themselves.
Stealing Your Shoes and Socks
If your dog raids your dirty laundry for your smelliest clothes, dirtiest shoes, and stinkiest socks, it’s a sign of love. It shows that they missed you while you were away and can’t get enough of your unique smell. It’s okay to discourage this behavior for the sake of your shoes and socks, but remember, they are doing it out of love.
Recognizing Your Name
You know that dogs learn their own names. And you’ve probably noticed, if you have multiple dogs, that they also learn each other’s names. But did you also know they can learn the names of people they like? When dogs hear the names of people they like, they’ll get excited at the thought that person might appear.
So, the next time your canine companion gazes into your eyes or curls up beside you, remember that these are not just moments – they are silent declarations of love, affirming the extraordinary bond between humans and their beloved dogs. Embrace the joy, cherish the cuddles, and revel in the unmistakable language of love that makes life with dogs an endlessly rewarding journey.
5 Ways You Can Help a New Dog Settle at Home

5 Ways You Can Help a New Dog Settle at Home

If you have recently adopted a puppy or an older dog, then helping them settle into their new home is a top priority. Here are some helpful tips:
  • Give them space – There can be a lot of change in a short period of time for newly adopted dogs. Set them up somewhere that is quiet and where they can get some much-needed rest and start to become comfortable in their new environment.
  • Avoid too many visitors – The first thing we want to do is tell everyone about the new arrival. Go ahead and tell everyone, but keep the “showing off” to a minimum for the first week or two. Your dog needs time to get to know their new immediate family well before introducing too many strangers.
  • Avoid unnecessarily trips – Of course, you are excited about your new family member and want to start showing them the world, but it is best to wait at least 72+ hours before exposing them to more than their new home turf.
  • Don’t worry about training right away – During the first few weeks with your new arrival, don’t pressure them by trying to instill strict training protocols. Their mind is already so full of learning about their new life and routines. After a short time, they will be comfortable enough with you and will be ready to absorb the training.
  • Nurture secure attachment – Your new addition’s whole world has been flipped upside down. They need a safe, calm person they can trust and form a bond with. Be there to comfort them.
  • Bonus Tip: Get professional help early on – Each relationship is different, so even if you have raised puppies, adopted before, or had dogs all your life, getting a professional on board early on can help even out any kinks. It just makes the process so much smoother.
What are the 5 freedoms and what should they mean to pet owners?

What are the 5 freedoms and what should they mean to pet owners?

When you get a new puppy or kitten, no one tells you that your new pet has five main welfare needs that need to be met. They provide a framework for caring for dogs, cats, and other pets. Read on to find out what they are, how many pet owners know them, and why they matter to you.
The Five Freedoms
The Five Freedoms were originally defined by the UK’s Farm Animal Welfare Council in the 1960s and were subsequently updated. They are now understood to apply to the welfare of all animals, not just livestock. The Five Freedoms are as follows.
  • Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to water and a diet to maintain health and vigor
  • Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment
  • Freedom from pain, injury, and disease by prevention or rapid diagnoses and treatment
  • Freedom to express normal behavior by providing proficient space, proper facilities, and appropriate company of the animal’s own kind
  • Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment, which avoid mental suffering
The Five Freedoms tell us our pets have 5 welfare needs- diet, environment, health, companionship, and behavior.
Knowing About the Five Freedoms
How many pet owners know about these needs? Since 2011, the PDSA in the United Kingdom has released its annual PAW report on the welfare of pets. The 2018 report tells that most people were able to identify four out of the five needs when shown a list.
  • 87% identified the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury, and disease
  • 85% identified the need to live in a sustainable environment
  • 85% identified the need for a suitable diet
  • 67% identified the need to exhibit normal behavior patterns
  • Only 18% identified the need to be housed with or apart from other animals
  • Only 13% of pet owners were able to correctly identify all five of the animal’s needs
Unfortunately, these needs are not as well known as they should be. And 29% of people thought that human company was one of the welfare needs.
Most people love their pets wholeheartedly, but it is also important to make sure you understand their basic needs in order to give them the best life possible. You can find more information on caring for animals at websites like the ASPCA.
Volunteer Updates

Volunteer Updates

We are so excited about everything coming up at the sanctuary this year. We will expand our volunteer program by continuing to welcome new volunteers, adding new sign-up opportunities with cats and dogs as well as other opportunities such as maintenance and clerical assistance, and building an enrichment team, to name just a few. We currently have three levels or tiers of volunteer status for our dog volunteers. It’s up to each volunteer to decide if you would like to advance through the tiers or stay at a specific tier; either is okay as we have multiple opportunities at every tier. Those who would like to advance to tier three will now be required to complete the “Fear Free Shelter Program.”
The Fear Free Shelter Program is an internationally known program that is completed online. After a brief introduction to Fear Free, volunteers will work
through four mandatory modules, which must be taken in consecutive order. Each module will end with an exam, which must be successfully completed before moving on to the next module. Progress on work can be saved at any time, giving you the flexibility to self-pace throughout the program. The core modules take approximately 5 hours to complete. You will be awarded a Fear Free Shelter Program Certificate of Completion when all four modules are completed. You can learn more about the program and register here: https://fearfreeshelters.com/about/. To register for the course, you will need a signed form from us. You can find them on the bulletin board in the tack room or email Michele at [email protected].
All staff have completed the course, and our amazing volunteers Lynn Rosato, Laura Tudor, Lorraine Guyton, and Dareen Seipel have also completed it! Way to go, ladies; thank you for your dedication to understanding and improving the lives of our sanctuary residents!
Changes Coming in January

Changes Coming in January

As 2023 draws to a close, we are already looking forward and planning for growth in 2024. Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary has been serving the local community for over 35 years, and our Board of Directors feels it is time to expand our programs and services so that we can touch the lives of even more animals in the future.
Current visitors to the Sanctuary will notice preparations throughout the grounds for the new construction scheduled to begin in January 2024. Plans have been approved for an addition to the current main building that will include many upgrades and improvements, just one of which is advanced on-site medical treatment for animals. So…stay tuned to future Howlers and HallieHill.com to learn more about the exciting changes in the works for 2024 at Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary.
Have a wonderful December, enjoying the company of family and friends and, of course, your beloved pets. Don’t forget to check out our offering of holiday e-cards at HallieHill.com; it’s a great way to let your loved ones know you are thinking of them AND share that love with the deserving animals in our care.
Volunteer Spotlight: Josh Taber and Donna Gamble

Volunteer Spotlight: Josh Taber and Donna Gamble

Josh Taber and Donna Gamble are a dynamic duo who have been volunteering regularly on Sundays to clean and improve Hallie Hill’s beautiful cemetery, Angels’ Crossing. It is a big job to maintain Angels’ Crossing. Josh and Donna do the necessary maintenance, like trimming trees, leveling gravestones, and fighting the weeds. They have also added small flags to embellish the walkways and sturdy handmade benches where visitors can sit, rest, and reflect as they walk the winding paths through the peaceful wooded space. Josh and Donna’s generous donation of their time, energy, and unique skills has beautified this incredibly special place for everyone to appreciate.
We also have Donna to thank for the annual donation of her beautiful, handmade quilts, which we raffle to benefit the animals at the Sanctuary each November. This year, the raffle raised over $6,400 for the animals of Hallie Hill. We at Hallie Hill are so grateful and lucky to have volunteers with these unique talents to help make the Sanctuary a remarkable place for humans and animals alike. Thank you, Donna and Josh; we are blessed to have you as valued members of our Hallie Hill family.
10 Tips to Pet Proof Your Christmas Tree

10 Tips to Pet Proof Your Christmas Tree

With the festive holiday season here, the joy of decorating our homes for Christmas fills the air. While the twinkling lights and hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree bring warmth and cheer, it also presents a potential playground for our furry friends. As pet owners, we know the many challenges of keeping our dogs and cats away from the holiday decor.
In this blog, we will explore ten ways to pet-proof your Christmas tree, ensuring happiness, holiday spirit, and pet safety. From playful cats to mischievous dogs, we have creative solutions to help you enjoy the holiday season without toppled trees or tangled tinsel.
  1. Consider an artificial tree- With real trees; there are two main concerns: pine needles and chemical-laden water. As the pine needles fell, curious dogs could sniff and lick them to investigate. If swallowed, they pose a risk of puncturing the intestines. With the water to preserve a real tree, dogs could be tempted to drink from the water bowl. The water for the tree is collecting bacteria, but many people add chemical preservatives to it. We don’t want our dogs drinking that.
  2. Stabilize your tree- Make sure to use a sturdy base; you don’t want it tipping over. If you have a rambunctious canine or a kitty who may jump on the tree, consider anchoring the tree to the wall. You can do this by wrapping fishing wire, fine gauge wire, or even an old string of Christmas lights around the tree and securing it to an eyehook.
  3. Bare those branches- Some dogs and cats could care less about rearranged furniture and new home decor. If you have an anxious furbaby, put up your tree and wait a few days before adding and hanging lights and ornaments.
  4. Pass on edible ornaments- While certain foods make great ornaments, avoiding them is best if you have pets. Food on the tree may be tempting for them. So keep popcorn garland, candy canes, and other treats off the tree.
  5. Ditch the tinsel- Tinsel is so pretty, but if your curious pet is interested in the shiny stuff, you might want to skip it this year. It tends to shed loose strands, which can cause problems if your pet eats anything. If swallowed, tinsel can pose a serious threat to pets.
  6. Decorate with shatterproof ornaments- Happy wagging tails can get a little too close to the tree and knock ornaments down off their branches. To avoid a stressful situation and dangerous broken glass, choose shatterproof ornaments.
  7. Place breakable ornaments up high- If using glass, delicate, and sentimental ornaments, be sure to place them up high. Some may try to lick or paw at those sparkly ornaments dangling from the branches.
  8. Avoid holiday houseplants- Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and amaryllis should be kept out of your pet’s reach. If you decorate with them, switch to artificial versions.
  9. Tuck electrical cords- Electrical cords can be tempting to nibble and chew. Use a cord hider to keep wires hidden and tucked away.
  10. Save presents for Christmas morning- If you have a pup who would love to chew or mark your gorgeously wrapped gifts, it is best to keep them away until Christmas morning.
GivingTuesday: How To Help Hallie Hill On November 28

GivingTuesday: How To Help Hallie Hill On November 28

On GivingTuesday, November 28, we are accepting donations to help care for the 200-plus animals that call the sanctuary home. GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement to help people and organizations transform their communities and the world. It is the beginning of the generosity season this year, inspiring people to give back on November 28 and throughout the year. Hallie Hill’s GivingTuesday 2023 fundraiser aims to raise $40,000.
Contributions made will provide essential funding for various expenses related to caring for our animal residents. This includes costs like microchipping, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, food, medications, utilities, and more.
Here is a detailed list of what some donation values can cover:
$10- microchip or vaccinate a dog or cat
$15- cover heartworm prevention for a month
$20 – feed a dog for a month
$50- spay or neuter a dog or cat
$100- purchases 100 days of arthritis pain medication for 1 senior dog
$500- treat a dog for heartworm disease
Those interested in joining our GivingTuesday initiative can visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/1364646607784787/345126688168098 to make a Facebook donation with no transactional fees or go to Classy at https://www.classy.org/campaign/giving-tuesday-2023/c530135. Thank you for your support this Holiday Season.
Thanksgiving Foods To Share With Your Dogs

Thanksgiving Foods To Share With Your Dogs

Thanksgiving is the time to be grateful and share a meal with those you love, including your pups. We know they will be begging for some snacks as you are cooking, and a lot of people food is not good for them, so here’s a list of Thanksgiving foods and ingredients you can share with your dog.
Pup Approved Thanksgiving Food:
  • Turkey (without the bones or skin)
  • Plain potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Apples
  • Plain pumpkin
  • Plain peas
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Rice
  • Corn
Keep in mind that any new food may give your furry friends a rumbly tummy so make sure you all go for a good long walk after dinner. We hope you and your furry friends have a Happy Thanksgiving and celebrate all you are thankful for.
Volunteer Spotlight: Gerard DeCocker

Volunteer Spotlight: Gerard DeCocker

Gerard DeCocker is a volunteer in our ‘Barn Buddies’ program. He loves to visit with our barn dogs, especially Lolly, Edna, and Dixie. Gerry always brings a smile to our face, especially when he shows up with donuts for everyone to enjoy (except the dogs, of course!) Gerry brings a chair and sits in the stall with each barn dog while giving them lots of love, pets, brushes, and a few treats here and there! He also brings his personal leaf blower to help keep the sanctuary looking beautiful. We appreciate Gerry and are so grateful for his kindness and the love he shows the animals of Hallie Hill. Thank you, Gerry!