A few months ago, I read an article about a survey that was given to married pet owners. The results showed that 33% of women believe their pets were better listeners than their husbands, while 18% of men thought their pet was a better listener than their wives. I chuckled as I read the headline, but also thought the people who responded to the survey surely were answering with tongue in cheek. I mean, of course pets are better listeners. For one thing, they can’t talk back. And while a spouse’s mind at the end of the day may be overwhelmed with incoherent fragments related to work, bills, household projects, parenting responsibilities, a dog’s mind is probably filled with singular thoughts like: “I wonder how cute I have to look before they give me a treat”.
The other day, though, I was at a family event and despite the fact that the living room and backyard were filled with people I found myself at one point sitting in a corner talking to my Aunt’s dog, Moe. (For the record, I really like my family and genuinely enjoy spending time with them). The conversation had to do with an ongoing miscommunication I seem to be having with my previous cell phone service provider. Moe waited patiently and when I was done we both walked outside and sat down in the sun with some other family members. What I realized in that moment, though, was not that I thought Moe was listening to me, or even paying attention, but that it was nice to be able to just talk and not have any expectation of receiving feedback or opinions. I didn’t want advice. I didn’t need anyone to jump in and fix the issue for me. I just needed to talk, and Moe provided an outlet.
So, partly out of curiosity and partly so I can continue to tell myself that I am normal, I want to know how many of you talk to your pets. And if you do, why? Is it just a habit? Do you do it out of boredom? Or does it provide some kind of release? Share your thoughts using the comment form below (please, don’t leave my hanging on this one).