Why are dogs special? It is because of love, and one has to have had a dog to know of the unconditional love a dog has for its master/mistress. You are part of its pack, and dogs are a pack animal. It is well known that dogs will frequently fight to the death defending their human family:
“The idea that animals can experience love was once anathema to the psychologists who studied them, seen as a case of putting sentimentality before scientific rigor. But a new book argues that, when it comes to dogs, the word is necessary to understanding what has made the relationship between humans and our best friends one of the most significant interspecies partnerships in history. Clive Wynne, founder the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University, makes the case in "Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You." The animal psychologist, 59, began studying dogs in the early 2000s, and, like his peers, believed that to ascribe complex emotions to them was to commit the sin of anthropomorphism—until he was swayed by a body evidence that was growing too big to ignore. "I think there comes a point when it's worth being skeptical of your skepticism," the Englishman said in an interview with AFP. Canine science has enjoyed a resurgence in the past two decades, much of it extolling dogs' smarts. Titles like "The Genius of Dogs" by Brian Hare have advanced the idea that dogs have an innate and exceptional intelligence. Wynne, however plays spoilsport, arguing that Fido is just not that brilliant. … One of the most striking advances comes from studies regarding oxytocin, a brain chemical that cements emotional bonds between people, but which is, according to new evidence, also responsible for interspecies relationships between dogs and humans. Recent research led by Takefumi Kikusui at Japan's Azabu University has shown that levels of the chemical spike when humans and their dogs gaze into each others' eyes, mirroring an effect observed between mothers and babies. In genetics, UCLA geneticist Bridgett vonHoldt made a surprising discovery in 2009: Dogs have a mutation in the gene responsible for Williams syndrome in humans—a condition characterized by intellectual limitations and exceptional gregariousness. "The essential thing about dogs, as for people with Williams syndrome, is a desire to form close connections, to have warm personal relationships—to love and be loved," writes Wynne.