It wasn’t until I was a pet owner that I truly appreciated the kind of effort that owners (and frankly, the pets that have the disposition to be friendly) put into interacting with other pets and to perhaps try to get them to make friends with each other. After all, I thought, they’re just pets, and in many ways a well-kept pet is one that has a whole family from which to get their interactions and affection from. But If this game shows anything, it’s the need or potential for pets to seek out their own kind and in their own way make friends of their own.
We’ve seen a bunch of the camaraderie that pets forge with one another depicted in very human ways, from films like The Secret Life of Pets to shows that feature pets in some form or another. But there’s no substitute there for the real thing. Dogs in particular who are socialized well thrive off of this kind of interaction, this sort of affection they find in other dogs that allows them to be enriched (and perhaps learn, for good or for ill) about how their fellow dogs communicate with and interact with others. It’s the kind of friendship that is difficult to put into human terms but which the developers for this game tried to do with the music and sounds and with the game interactions. And to be honest, even with this, we’re sort of seeing only a limited point of view, from natural interactions from animals that are as old as time itself. If anything else, this should show us that those who aren’t human have their own ways of communicating and interacting, and that we should learn and respect that, if not encourage it if at all possible.