I meant that "common courtesy" remark to be a little bit humorous, but it's really based in truth.
I do have an emotional attachment to my dog, but it's not based on anthropomorphism or how cute I think he is or any of that stuff. It's based on the service and companionship he provides me. My affection for him is built on shared training/trialing experiences (some VERY stressful indeed), meaningful bonding, his forgiveness for my mistakes in training and the resulting knowledge I have learned about training and handling dogs in general. Most of all though, his instinct to protect is why I feel connected to him. The deal sealer for me was when I had him for about a week and he tried to bite, and then head butt though, my car window to get at a dumb drunk who was acting threatening outside the car. "Good raw material," I said to myself.
We are drawn to dogs that share our own behavioral characteristics. Connor is a lot like me. When a threat makes itself known, we have the same instinct to get between the source of the danger and our pack members. In that way I think we understand each other completely, and that is a characteristic that I will continue to look for in any future dogs as a baseline requirement for ownership.
I don't have that same connection to other people's dogs, and as a result I am actually pretty cold to them. Erin and I talked about this the last time she was visiting here. She doesn't really feel any need to get lovey-dovey with other people's dogs, and neither do I. I frankly think it's weird when people want to pet and love on every dog they see. People can't wait to pet Connor and hug him and love on him, despite just meeting him. Never understood that myself.
So yeah, I would eat all of your dogs. Just not mine.
"My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban PERMANENTLY as soon as I take office...I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns."-Barack Obama
"When in doubt, whip it out."-Nuge