DEAR NOREEN: I live with the two Humans who adopted me a few years ago. Our life together is good, but one thing about their behaviour really bothers me. They can’t seem to stay away from other Dogs. Whenever we’re outside and they see another Dog, they make these embarrassing “ ooohing” and “aaahing” sounds. They’ve even been known to cross the street just to get a better look at another Dog! Are other Dogs a threat to my happy home? What should I do?-INSECURE
DEAR INSECURE: Ah, the joys of Human companionship! Anyone who reads this newspaper regularly knows my opinion of Humans: they’re lovely to look at it, but I wouldn’t want to live with one. But, cheer up! There is hope on the horizon.
While their behaviour is a mystery to other Animals, there is one thing that almost all of us agree on: loyalty is not a trait that we associate with the Human species.
So, it should come as no surprise that Humans might spend time looking at other Dogs — even going so far as to offer them food or affection — without any sense that this might be upsetting to their own Dog. This occurs indoors as well as on the street, I might add, and generally does nothing for the Human-Canine bond at home.
Still, what makes up for Humans’ lack of loyalty is a trait known colloquially as “generosity” and it is likely this trait that will save you from an unpleasant outcome in these circumstances. And that is because, should your Humans fall for another Dog, research shows they are 182 times more likely to add that Dog to your household than to replace you with this new one. So, rather than being a threat to your happiness, other Dogs may actually end up increasing it.
Dear Noreen is a regular feature of The Mammalian Daily and The Mammalian Daily online. If you have a question for Noreen, please send it via Twitter at @talkswithnoreen.