Furry Children? I Don’t Think So

You and I and everyone else hear it all the time. Dogs are just furry little children. And we get baby-talked to death sometimes, as if we can’t understand the grown-up words spoken by our adult humans. Worse, scientists come out with studies on a regular basis comparing our intelligence level and skill sets to their drooling, diaper-wearing toddlers.

Well, here’s something for their science books – dogs are not furry children. Children are actually furless dogs, except for those mops on their heads. That’s right. Rug rats take after us, not the other way around. You doubt me? Just think about it for a second. Do you really think that I take my cue from a two-year old? You’ve got to be kidding me. I take all of my cues from me. What I want. What I’m going to do next to get a head, usually of Sidney, but sometimes of other things.

Plus, like, there weren’t any small humans in our house when I arrived on the scene. So, if I grab my sister’s toy away from her – which I do every day – it’s not because I learned it from an undersized version of Mom. It’s because I don’t want Sidney to have the toy. See, it’s about who’s in charge. You know, establishing the proper pack order. Ever vigilant and all that. It’s most definitely not about imitating a pablum eater.

But, despite how obviously wrong it is, every day brings more of the same old, same old. Just the other day a human scientist claimed that a dog’s understanding of human gestures tops out at the level of a two-year old human. Well, I don’t think so. Those tiny tots can’t begin to reach my lofty understanding of non-verbal human communication.

Like, when Mom points to a ball, I run over, pick it up and take it to her. No words are spoken, except for the high praise I get in the end, of course. Try that one with your pee-wee. I bet she won’t even realize that you’re pointing at the ball. She’ll probably think you’re pointing at the wall or the floor or someplace like that.

And, I have to tell you, children may follow our lead but they don’t make really great dogs. After all, how many toddlers have you seen herding sheep or pulling sleds across the frozen tundra?

So, from now on, just think of your kid as a furless wannabe me.

See you in the mirror.