We don’t keep pets around very long when they protest or fight back against us. The only school to which we send our pets for the development of their minds or spirits is obedience school. Yet it is possible for us to desire that other humans develop a “will of their own;” indeed, it is this desire for the differentiation for the other that is one of the characteristics of genuine love.
In our relationship with pets we seek to foster their dependency. We do not want them to grow up and leave home. We want them to stay put, to lie dependably near the hearth. It is their attachment to us rather than their independence from us that we value in our pets.
This matter of the “love” of pets is of immense import because many, many people are capable of “loving” only pets and incapable of genuinely loving other human beings.
M Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled