Why, Yes, I Would Save My Dog First In Case Of A Fire. Wouldn’t You?
It’s one of the earliest memories of my horrifying my kids.
Not the last.
I am, after all,
A conversation about fire safety started this particular episode.
We started with something like, “How would you get out of the house in an emergency?”
Once I was satisfied with their proposed plans, I shifted to the philosophical.
“What is the one thing you would want to save?” I asked.
The girls made me go first.
Which was easy, because my answer was simple.
“The dog?” both girls were appalled. “You would save the dog before you would save us?”
I tried to make the case that the very fact we were having a conversation on how to get out of the house, onwhat they would save first, meant they were capable of saving themselves.
The dog, not so much.
Made sense to me.
They, however, were now convinced they had Exhibit A in the case for my being a horrible mother.
I can now say I have science on my side.
I’ve come across research that shows perhaps I’m not so horrible, after all.
Turns out I am,
Two studies show that when it comes to making a choice, people have more empathy for their pup over humans.
One British study ran two ads. Each ad asked the question, “Would you give money to help save Harrison?”
One ad had a picture of a little boy.
The other had a picture of a dog.
The ad for the dog got twice as many clicks as the one for the boy.
Researchers for Northeastern and University of Colorado showed headlines to more than 250 students.
One had a story about a dog that had been beaten up.
The other was about a person.
The results—undergrads felt more empathy for the dog.
Many people see dogs as innocents, the scientists explained.
And then there is this—
The scientists said, “Dogs provide unconditional love and many times people form stronger bonds with their pet than with another human.”
That, I will confess.
I do love and like my dog more than a lot of people I know.
I mean, have you met some of the people out there in the world, Dear Reader?
As for loving my dog more than my children?
Let’s leave it as,
It’s a different kind of love.
A chamber of my heart unto itself.
She’s certainly happier to see me than my teenagers usually are.
Can’t remember the last time one of them wiggled their butts and squealed simply because I walked through the front door.
That kind of love,
Well, that’s the kind of thing I’d walk through fire to protect and save.
While also, for the record, making sure my human children were safe.
It’s what we mothers do.
And horrify the best souls we know.
Who or what would you save first in a fire? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
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