Do Modern Dogs Face an Identity Crisis?

Next up, more veterinary Q & A. But first I can't resist linking to an article in New York Magazine. Even in the suburbs, the...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Feb 4th 2010


Next up, more veterinary Q & A. But first I can’t resist linking to an article in New York Magazine.

Even in the suburbs, the dogs unleashed, unfenced, carefree outdoor life is largely at an end. The dogs are in the house, even in the bed. (The doghouse is now mostly for husbands.) There are no rules to this evolving, increasingly intimate arrangement, and it can give rise to a kind of canine identity crisis. Outside of its country context, the dog plays an ever more human role. Which can make things very confusing. Weve seen a linear explosion in pet populations in Western countries over the past 40 years, Serpell tells me, and notes a correlation with the depressing statistics in Robert Putnams Bowling Alone. People are living more isolated lives, are having fewer children, their marriages arent lasting. All these things sort of break down a social network and happen to exactly coincide with the growth in pet populations. I think that whats happening is simply that were allowing animals to fill the gap in our lives.

To learn about the ramifications this has on us–and our canine companions–read the whole article.