It occurred to me yesterday evening as I was walking Syrah the Mighty that there are certain qualities that we value in dogs, things that make them pleasing and attractive to us as pets and companions:
- Happy: Dogs are so often happy when they see us. They hardly ever seem to hold a grudge.
- Playful: Dogs are playful. They are alway ready for any number of games.
- Protective: Dogs are protective of members of their pack, sometimes annoyingly so.
- Ready to Please: Dogs like to do things that earn them the praise of their owners.
- Content: Dogs are generally content with whatever their circumstances are.
- Service: Dogs like to help, even if it is only helping in the way a dog can.
- Loving: Dogs can just be there whenever you need them to be, just to give love.
We value all of these traits in dogs, but when people have the same sorts of traits they are sometimes seen as not assertive enough or too silly or not goal oriented enough or the sort of people that will always be followers and not high achievers. We value such traits in our pets and companions, but not in our fellow humans (or perhaps we say we do, but in practice we do not).
It just struck me as odd.