Companion animals are supposed to be ‘spoiled’ but the better term is ‘enriched’. They are not human children under the guidance of parents whose main purpose to their children is preparing them to enter into the world on their own. Companion animals have been removed from their natural environments for the purpose of being a key influence in the lives of humans. In many cases specific characteristics have been bred into and even out of companion animals to fit the needs and desires of their human compatriots.
This active and particular breeding is seen especially in dogs whose ancestors were wolves. Selective breeding removed combative tendencies and enhanced the genetic qualities that allowed them to more completely mirror the needs and desires of humans. Through continued breeding for specific qualities, even the appearances changed. Instead of a snarling, angry and aggressive stance, faces smoothed out to almost smile, eyes of innocent openness, wagging tails etc.
But dogs are also much more than companions now, there are hunting partners, seeing eye dogs, performers, drug sniffers, police protectors etc.
Some species of birds have also changed through careful breeding to affect feather patterns and this is most apparent in pigeons and finches since it was these birds who were first ‘companioned’ by humans. Other birds are only just recently in this unique venue and FuzzyButt is one of these parrot species.
Birds more closely resemble social primates societies in behavior as well as brain size. Their environment must be more enriching or they will not survive. Many can go back to the wild and be happy, but those bred in captivity usually cannot and a large part of this is because we’ve removed them from climates where their natural habits exist by thousands of miles.
But no matter what kind of animal is selected to be a companion, it is a tremendous responsibility to care for that animal, to, yes, spoil, protect and love. If an owner is not emotionally prepared for this life time commitment, they should not elect themselves into that position.