Dogs bond with their owners in ways similar to children with parents, according to findings from a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE (a more accessible discussion of the study’s findings, pictured below, can be read here). This probably isn’t surprising to most dog owners.
Even as someone who has never owned a dog (I love them; alas, my sinuses do not), I have played the role of dog-sitter to my adorable (if rambunctious) “God Dogger” Brooklyn, and many others, enough to know that canines miss their regular human companions when they’re not around.
Dogs to Babies = Apples to Apples?
Now, dog/baby comparisons are drawn all the time. And the findings described here make perfect sense. What makes less sense to me is when people ask or assume that dog-is-to-childfree-person as baby-is-to-parent. That’s sorta like comparing apples to oranges, IMHO.
While I see similarities between dogs and babies – both provide companionship, both require TLC, both can be expensive, neither seems capable of changing its own diaper, etc. – you’ll never hear me refer to any pets of mine as “fur babies” (and yet I’ll happily use the phrase “God Dogger” – no, the inconsistency of my ways is not lost on me).
To me, there are just far too many differences to think that the comparison is a reasonable one – dogs may go to Puppy Preschool but one never has to worry about scrounging up tuition for a costly college education, and while 5 year old Rover can chillax at the house alone while his owners go out on the town I’ve heard Child Protective Services frowns upon parents who leave their 5 year old humans home alone while they head out boozing, and, finally, dogs generally don’t expect their bums to be wiped after taking a #2 (to name but a few important differences).
Where do you stand on the dog/baby comparison thing? How similar and/or different are they to you? Are your pets “fur babies” or are they simply pets (or perhaps something else entirely)?