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The Master-Canine Complex

A theory I’ve been kicking around in my head for a while is this:  don’t dogs look like their owners? Could we be seeing a piece of ourselves in our canines? Or even more, could it be that us dog lovers see the best part of ourselves in our couch cuddlers?

            If I were a psychologist, I’d call this the master-canine complex (and yes, I’ll be submitting this to a scientific journal ;). Though we may not realize it, we may be choosing the ideal image of ourselves in our puppies. One cannot underestimate the extent of human vanity.

            Now if you were being truly honest with yourself, when you were going to the breeders or the shelter, which dog did you gravitate toward? The one with the sweet smile that you see in yourself? Or did you rescue the dog that was down and out because you’d been going through a rough patch? Did you pick the one who is spunky and energetic because you can’t sit still either? Somehow, I believe that we choose the dogs that reflect us, whether the bull dogs with their scrunchy noses or the samoyeds with their infectious smiles or the wheaten terriers with their fluffy hair.

I’d love to post pictures as anecdotal evidence (Any volunteers? Message me here.) of this controversial theory. But next time you’re out and about, look around and let me know if you see what I see. Maybe you’ll even see yourself.


Me with my dog, Willy, around 15 years ago. Any resemblance?



The Brown family, Fort Collins, CO



Charlie and his "brother," Louie, Lancaster, PA



Ben and his puppy, Calvin, South Orange, NJ



Jeff and his pooch, Corwin, Gainesville, FL

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