Earlier today, I asked a bunch of people which animal they'd interview if they could, and a lot of people picked their pet dogs. At first I found it cute that so many people care about their dogs' thoughts and opinions, but then I got the feeling that perhaps we go a bit overboard with the dog-humanizing.
You don't muse over a chicken's thoughts as you cook and eat it, or a fly's thoughts as you swat it from your face, or a horse's thoughts as you ride it. What makes your dog special?
According to a large faction of our society, your pet dog must have a wide range of opinions on the way you dress, how you socialize, your political views, your relationship with your spouse, and most strongly, on those noises you make in the bathroom every time you get sick. Your dog's a wise guy isn't he.
Except he isn't, because he's a dog.
He poops and eats and sleeps and sleeps and responds to cues like most animals do. Sure, he's got some really sharp senses, and it's really nice that your dog is excited to see you when you get home from work in the evenings, but trust me... your dog does not and will never have an opinion on how your ass looks in those cheap nylon jeggings.
Don't take my word for it-- listen to this study from the scientific journal Learning & Behavior, which proves dogs aren't any more exceptional in social cognition and cue response than are other animals on average.
Want proof that dogs get humanized more than humans? Check out this random-ass poll I took on Sunday-- the majority of voters chose a dog over an actual human baby.
People are doing all sorts of human activities with their dogs these days-- dressing them in human outfits, having human conversations with them, and even making out and cuddling with their dogs like lovers. The only human thing you won't see people do with their dogs is hurt them or break up with them. Because dogs are too lovable to ever hurt or break up with. And they're apparently going to carry you into retirement and eulogize you after you die.
I suspect the dog-humanizing has something to do with our general lack of incentive when it comes to properly investing in relationships with other humans. After all, we've got things like computers and artificial intelligence to bond with intellectually. Add some dog-loving to the picture and you've got all your bases covered.
Besides, humans require you to actually treat them like real-live humans and have real-live human connections with them in order for them to love you, while a dog's usually cool with being fed basics, being let out to poop, and the occasional petting. Whose human's gonna lick your feet over that?Not me. Good thing I'm not a dog.
So if you're still reading and haven't marched off in tempestuous rage yet: here is your daily reminder that your dog, despite having a human name and responding to human cues and living in a human-house, is a dog and will always be a dog.