Parked in a driveway not far from the elementary school that my kids attend is a car with this bumper sticker. While the folks who drive it seem nice enough (he’s a Korean vet; I run into her occasionally at the grocery store; the son works at a nearby university.) the sentiment behind the bumper sticker nags at me. It’s not that dogs aren’t great (friendly, loyal, fun-loving, social), and there are times when the company of a dog may be preferable to the company of people, and sure, I get the riff on all those “My child is an honor student at …” bumper stickers. But still, comparing kids and dogs and having the dogs come out ahead? What’s wrong with this picture?
While dogs have many sterling qualities, who is more likely to discover the next wonder drug, a dog or someone who was once a kid? If you’re 50 or younger, the physician who attends you in your final days may have just started kindergarten. The guy who manages your pension fund through your golden years could be one of those tweenies who hang out the the corner store. The driver who gets you to and from the senior center may not have been born yet. Who offers more hope for the future? Your dog, or my honor student?