Commenter Elli leaves this stirring tribute to the White people’s love affair with the dog at isteve (on an entry about, if you can believe it, the dog-leasing racket– yes, it’s a thing):
I’ve got four children and a “rescue” mutt, not that I personally rescued her. I didn’t know that a dog would fulfill something that matters until I got her, and it’s not baby lust or child replacement. Northern people co-evolved with dogs. A companion for roaming, an alert guard, shared peace when all is well – they are part of traditional society.
Cats now – my older daughter got one a few months back and it’s obvious she needs to marry her boyfriend and have babies. And I’m blunt enough to tell her so.