I’ve been spending a lot of time working from home lately, which means it can get mighty lonely around the ol’ office. Luckily, I do have one coworker who keeps me company, stops me from going insane and is always down to participate in some tasty workplace shit talking. In fact, he’ll listen to just about anything I say, so long as I give him belly rubs.
I’m talking about my dog. My coworker is my dog. That was clear, right?
Yes, the furry little bastard who keeps beating me out for Employee Of the Month at HQ is Draper, he of vague age (five, maybe?), origins (somewhere in Alabama) and breed (some kind of Franken-terrier hybrid). Draper is my best friend, so naturally I talk to him about my interests (the Phillies, beer) as well as his (the mailman, squirrels).
I’ve never thought this was crazy behavior, no sir, but just in case I had my doubts, science reveals that talking to your dog isn’t strange at all—in fact, it means you’re a really smart person. Thank you, science. The habit is called “anthropomorphizing,” which means assigning a personality to non-human objects like pets and, say, guitars (a totally random example I just thought of now and is not a thing I do in real life, no sir).
As behavioral neuroscientist Nicholas Epsey explained to Quartz, we do this because we consider those items extensions of our own identities. And it’s a result of having an “active, intelligent social cognition—of having a brain that is programmed to see and perceive minds,” according to Quartz.
So there you have it: not crazy. Very normal. Now, if only we could figure out a way for dogs to talk back. Just a guess, but I bet Draper would tell me to get the hell back to work.