August 15, 2003

What do Dogs Want?

So. We'll be dog-parents tomorrow. Wait a minute: "dog parents"? Especially in Ann's family, a dog used to be more like a tool on the family spread... something that barked at intruders, ate up table scraps, and occasionally got a scratch behind the ears. I just talked to our FedEx delivery man who has two new dogs (in addition to his massive Malamute called Sampson). He gets up in the middle of the night and comes back to bed to find them sleeping on his pillow! Has our relationship with our 'best friend' Fido changed over the years? Have pups become "the spoiled and idle surrogate child of emotionally needy humans" as this Boston News article suggests? Do our dogs want to be responsible for our mental well-being, or do we make them crazy?

Katz worries that regarding dogs as therapists with fur might not be good for them. These descendants of wolves were bred to hunt and work. Now they are being dumbed down and infantilized, turned into obese neurotics like their masters. Yet according to one scientific study he cites, pampering dogs does not necessarily lead to behavior problems. Dogs fed from the dinner table, in fact, proved less likely to misbehave.

[...]the evolutionary success of dogs to their knack for faking love and loyalty, and our own compulsive anthropomorphizing. ``If biologists weren't victim to the same blindness that afflicts us all, they probably wouldn't hesitate to classify dogs as social parasites,'' he wrote.

The important thing will be to keep our dog's place in our lives in perspective. We had one friend that did a good job of this in the naming of her dog: she called him Justa.

Posted by fred1st at August 15, 2003 06:35 AM | TrackBack

wait a minute...Katz? lol!

Katz and lot of other earnest folk over think things...a dog is Justa dog....with all that dogdom entails.

(sorry couldn't resist)

Posted by: feste at August 15, 2003 04:04 PM

May your first days and nights with the new family member be delightful, and accident-free! Welcome home Tsuga.

Posted by: Lisa at August 15, 2003 04:49 PM

Can't wait to see pics of your new family member!

Posted by: bogie at August 16, 2003 08:14 AM

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