dogs and their humans

From the Chronicle of 4/16/04: "Nicholas J.S. Christenfeld, a professor of psychology at the University of California at San Diego, sent two undergraduate assistants to local parks to take photos of 45 dog owners and their pets. Back on the campus, 28 other undergraduate students then had to pick which of two dog photos matched a given owner. In most cases, the judges matched the owners of purebred dogs with their pooches, but had no such luck matching owners of mutts. Mr. Christenfeld's results will appear in the May 2004 issue of the journal Psychological Science."

Now, the writer of the article claimed it has to do with the presumed resemblance between people and their animals. But it also has everything to do with social class and the desire (or lack of it) for perceived social status: people who will spend thousands of dollars on a purebred French bulldog tend to look a bit different from those of us who rescue dogs from the pound.

As the proud companion of 2 wonderful mixed breeds rescued from the pound and from the street, I'm glad we're not as typecast as the companions of purebreds. Yet my gf and I fancy that our dogs resemble us -- if not in their physical appearance (if only I could have such great muscle definition!), then in their personalities. Wendell's a great communicator, understands a large English vocabulary, and likes to watch movies (especially if they include horses, cattle, or monkeys). Gracie is shy with strangers, sulky if you disturb her sleep, and very anxious about change.

Or perhaps we're just beginning to resemble them...There are days when I feel like jumping up and down and barking when someone bugs me too much...