I’ve never met a person that was not obsessed with social status in one way or another; each of us is constantly checking the way that certain other
monkeys humans are reacting to the things we’ve said, ways we’ve walked, pieces of clothing we’ve sported, and so on. Oh sure, maybe you’re not concerned about what some people think of you. But there’s somebody out there who you show off for, suck up to, etc. Some pack you are always jostling for position in.
I’m not saying people are superficial — this is simply the way we’re built as social animals. It takes another social animal to give us a respite.
Notice the palpable quiet in these photos. Historically dogs have the most wonderful and amazing symbiosis with people — serving as guards, pest control, hunting companions, besides being vectors for other pests themselves — but their most amazing ability in this day and age might be not talking, not tweeting, not blogging, not judging you for much of anything other than whether you have a piece of Virginia ham in your hand. And for such a friend, yes, I do have that ham.