As a somewhat obsessed dog guy, I’m the first to concede that a central tenet of doggie philosophy is to reject the whole love-vs.-food paradigm as a false choice. Dogs are committed to the idea that there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. But as almost anyone who has come home to their dog after an extended absence will tell you, dogs don’t go bonkers for missing loved ones solely because they think there’s a meal in it for them.
And yet, there are people who argue almost precisely that. There’s what I would call the dumb version and the smart version of that particular school of thought. The dumb version, as the label suggests, is dumb. It can be found in people who say things like, “Dogs just lick you for the salt,” or, “It’s just an animal; you shouldn’t care about its feelings.”