Keeping an animal in the house is so familiar now
that it's easy to forget how
fundamentally odd it is,
and what a leap it must have been
to share living quarters with a non-human life form
just to have its company.
Dogs worked hard for the privilege, developing as a species
the capacity to empathize,
or appear to empathize, with human beings
better than any other animal; it's this talent,
rather than their intelligence, that accounts for their being
the preeminent animals in our lives.
- Susan Orlean