Do you have a cat named Steve?
Have you ever caught your dog lying on the couch, watching Star Trek?
Do you believe that your pet knew you in a past life?
Have you ever thrown a birthday party for your dog?
Do you look for words spelled out in spiderwebs?
Have you ever watched The Fox and the Hound? Do you now believe that your pet befriends the local wildlife?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, congratulations! You are well on your way to anthropomorphism! Attributing human form or behavior to you pet is a fun way to pass the time. While some people believe that this is educationally harmful, a little insane, and a source of error; pet lovers across the globe will disagree. When you spend a great deal of time with any animal, anthropomorphism is practically unavoidable!
Let’s explore 7 fun ways to anthropomorphize your pets!
#1. Liken your pet to a celebrity! 1 of 7
Surely you can see human features in your beloved pet's face and personality! Comparing animals to celebrities is an excellent way to pass the time. For example: this dog, Greybeard, obviously resembles Tom Selleck in his "Magnum P.I." days, he is classically handsome and suave with the ladies. Well, he was. He's dead now. The dog, not Tom Selleck.
(Greybeard: Photo by Johi Kokjohn-Wagner. Tom Selleck: Flickr photo by Alan Light)
#2 Take note of your pet’s awareness of the camera. 2 of 7
This was my horse, Jag. He clearly had movie star looks and charisma. Much like a movie star, his awareness of the camera was epic. Photographers take note: When photographing your animals that act like celebrities, always be sure to capture their good side and work with the natural light. Try for a mountainous backdrop and the hiney of an vintage ass (sort of like Connery's hiney on a vintage car) for maximum photographic impact. Also, Nature's Valley Oats and Honey Granola Bars are wonderful horse treats.
(Handsome Jag: photo by Johi Kokjohn-Wagner. Handsome Sean Connery: Flickr photo by Konabish~Greg Bishop)
#3. Create a human persona for your pet. 3 of 7
Always start with "If my ____ was a person, they would be...."
This was my gay, opera loving, black turtleneck wearing cat, Morris. He was clearly incredibly charming, distinguished and photogenic. Also, he was an intellect who enjoyed experiencing other cultures, fine art, and a full-bodied Cabernet.
Now you try.
(Mo Mo Baby Kiss Kiss: photo by Johi Kokjohn-Wagner. Intellectual man: flickr photo by striatic.)
#4. Treat your pet like a human. 4 of 7
Make sure that your pet has every pampering normally reserved for humans.
Do you have a puppy? Then it obviously needs a cradle! Do you have a cat? Then it clearly wants to watch The Daily Show with you. Do you have a mini pig? Then it naturally wants a piggicure (a pig pedicure- duh).
(Puppy: photo by Johi Kokjohn-Wagner. Baby: photo from missbabypro.com)
#5. Diagnose your pet with human personality disorders. 5 of 7
This dog, Lucy, clearly has separation anxiety with short term memory loss and mild depression. She also has an eating disorder, as she once ate an ENTIRE lasagna.
(Lucy: photo by Johi Kokjohn-Wagner.)
#6. Catch your pet engaging in decidedly human activities. 6 of 7
Do I really need to elaborate here?
(Photo by PandaWhale.com)
#7. Dress your pets in clothing. 7 of 7
While some pets benefit from the extra warmth that clothing provides, sometimes it is purely for human enjoyment. I don't know that Black Dog NEEDS the granny shawl, crocheted headband, necklace, and glasses, but it certainly made my day a little brighter. And this tiny Chihuahua on the right probably doesn't NEED to be outfitted in full on vintage Strawberry Shortcake regalia, but does that truly matter when the finished product looks like THIS?
(Black Dog: Photo and clothing by Johi Kokjohn-Wagner. Strawberry Shortiecakes: photo from www.thepet-boutique.com.)