I know there's controversy about that. As if a 'creature', an 'animal', is worthy of human status among... humans. Everyone knows people were put her to rule over the other creatures. We have intelligence and emotions and know how to use tools and all sorts of imporant qualities animals like dogs don't possess.
Or do they?
This article in the NY Times begs to differ: Dogs are People, Too!
I can tell you that I say that phrase a lot! To a who lotta people. Why? Because dogs DO have emotions. They show it every day in everything they do. Our dogs were so overjoyed to see us after we'd been gone for 10 days, they were positively giddy! As were we! Emily was beside herself, wiggling and licking our faces; Chester did his circle thing...round and round, then butted our elbows for attention; and Olive, she grabbed her toy, as is her way, and ran hither and yon, as if she couldn't contain her excitement. Then she came over to be petted and fawned over.
They are so full of emotion, I find it shocking that otherwise intelligent people don't see it. What? Oh, right... they probably aren't all that intelligent, those people who can't see how deeply dogs feel.
They have intelligence, too. They figure out what day it is and know when we're going to walk them... because we walk them later in the day on weekends, than on week days. They also know when it's time to give us some loving, cause we had a bad day or we're just tired. They figure out how to open doors, what they need to do to be let in and out, and out and in, over and over and over... LOL Oh yes, they are intelligent.
As for tools... I've watched my dogs use their paws as tools many a time. I've watched them figure out how to get a toy or treat out from under a couch or other piece of furniture... even going as far as moving the piece of furniture, if that's what it takes!
My sense of how dogs think...and they do think... is growing stronger every year. These dogs, the three at our house, have proven themselves over and over and over, to be smart, talented, loving, and forgiving. And, anyone who says a dog doesn't know when she or he has been bad... can come to my house and try to prove it to me. Boy do these dogs know when we get home, after being out for awhile, that the book they chewed up, or the newspaper they trashed, was the WRONG thing to do.
I imagine it something like this... Chester says, "Haven't they been gone for...like days and days? When are they coming back?" (we've been gone about half an hour at this time... note: I said they think, I didn't say they could tell time)
And Emily will reply, "Probably soon. But hey, since we gotta wait so long, let's tear the sofa apart. Remember when we tore the armchair apart? Wasn't that fun? You know you had fun, Chester."
And, in his quiet, but reflective way, Chester replies, "I did have fun. But, I'm not sure... is it okay to do that?"
"Oh sure," Emily will say, as she begins to rip the sofa arm open, and pull the stuffing out... "what do you think they left this here for? It has to be for us to play with!"
And, while Chester and Emily go about tearing the sofa apart... creating the world's biggest chew toy (we'll show you pictures someday)... Olive runs around, toy dangling from her mouth, mumbling, "I don't think you should do that! I'm pretty sure Mom said not to do that. I'm not taking the blame for this!"
And there you have it. A conspiracy. Now, isn't that as human as you can get?