Our society is changing, and perhaps because our extended families no longer live so close to us, or perhaps because urban lifestyles or work demands interfere with our ability to establish close social connections, it appears that our pet dogs have begun to fill the emotional voids that modern living has left in our family and personal relationships. There are already lots of data which show that dogs are thought of as family members (click here for more), and there are many instances in which we treat them socially much the way that we do other people (click here for more).
Now a new survey demonstrates just how connected to our social and family lives our pet dogs have become. The survey comes from Rover, the largest online network of dog sitters and dog walkers in the United States, with more than 100,000 members. In an Internet survey, Rover polled thousands of pet owners to determine their relationship to their dogs.
The findings are quite interesting.
In some respects, I saw the results of this survey confirmed just a couple of days ago. A TV news reporter was interviewing a family who had been rescued from flooding conditions not far from Montréal. The man was saying, "We lost the house, but at least our family was saved." His wife added, "Our whole family is safe — both of us, our three kids, and both dogs!"
Stanley Coren is the author of many books including: Gods, Ghosts and Black Dogs; The Wisdom of Dogs; Do Dogs Dream? Born to Bark; The Modern Dog; Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses? The Pawprints of History; How Dogs Think; How To Speak Dog; Why We Love the Dogs We Do; What Do Dogs Know? The Intelligence of Dogs; Why Does My Dog Act That Way? Understanding Dogs for Dummies; Sleep Thieves; The Left-hander Syndrome
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