I’m in the third week of caring for my second human baby, and of course the bond is already very strong. Babies and children are completely innocent and dependent on us for survival. And we (parents) are hyper aware of this dependency and cater to it as best we can.
Dogs, cats, and other companion animals are often just as dependent and innocent as our human children. It’s difficult not to develop strong attachments to a being when they look to you for so much care. We feed and shelter our adopted animal companions and they show their love and appreciation via face-licks, tail-wags, head butts, and sometimes with a dead rodent strategically placed at the front door for our appraisal.
Some people become offended when owners liken an animal companion to a child, but it’s unfair to judge someone else’s personal relationships; whether they be between two people or a person and a pet. As humans, we invest a huge amount emotionally into the relationships we foster throughout our lives. For some people the bond that’s formed between an owner and pet can be just as important, and sometimes more so, than between other humans–And that’s okay!