What's Your Preference? Dogs or Humans?

It’s become more and more expected and accepted that dogs are thought of as part of the family.  They live indoors with us.  We celebrate their birthdays.  We deeply grieve their deaths.  I feel this way about my dogs and suspect that you do, too. 

What I don’t feel is the popular opinion that dogs are better than people.  I hear people say often that they like dogs more than people or they prefer the company of dogs.  Sure, there are some folks I would be less inclined to hang out with, but to prefer dogs over humans seems odd to me.  I saw a post on FB yesterday that said this:

Why I Prefer Dogs:

Dogs aren’t racist

Dogs don’t discriminate

Dogs aren’t evil

Dogs don’t start wars

Dogs aren’t sexist

Dogs don’t lie

Dogs aren’t hypocrites

Dogs don’t incite hatred

Dogs aren’t HUMAN

 

I find this meme to be incredibly sad.  It's even more sad that 211 people shared this.  It speaks more to the loneliness and bad experiences of the humans posting it than it does to the supposed superiority of canine companionship.  I hurt for someone so hateful of their own species.  I hurt for them because I’m human.

All the things in this list are probably true, but would also be true of a 2 year old human child.  Science tells us that this is a good comparison to dogs’ cognitive abilities, so it makes perfect sense.  The question is who wants to limit their life experience to social interaction with a 2 year old?

There are things that adult humans give us that can’t be provided by a dog or a toddler.  I’ve put together my own little list.

Why I Need Humans, Too

Dogs don’t give good advice

Dogs don’t understand my frustrations with office politics

Dogs can’t buy me a drink

Dogs can’t go to the theater

Dogs can’t participate in a lively debate

Dogs don’t laugh at my jokes

Dogs don’t tell me jokes

Dogs are not appropriate romantic interests

Dogs are not HUMANS

 

I love my dogs.  I value their companionship and mourn their loss.  My dogs are individuals with personalities that enrich my life beyond measure.  However, they are not replacements for my human friends and family.  They simply can’t be.  Perhaps what makes dogs so great IS that they aren’t human.  Likewise, what makes humans great is that they are.