Oh, we're a bunch of creative types. Cleo, our first dog, we called our beagle girl. Simon, we call a Simon-dog, since he's the only dog of his kind we've ever seen. (There was a dog in the city where we used to live that sort of resembled Simon, and we called that dog Black Simon, which I thought had a pirate-y ring to it. Yargh! Black Simon! He plunders low-lying snacks!)
Our newer dog is Luna, a Boston Terrier mix. Before we got Luna, we looked up in a reference book what Boston terriers were supposed to be like. Boston terriers aren't listed with terriers. Or hounds. Or in any of the look-at-this-weird-evolutionary-bit-left-over categories. Turns out, Boston terriers are non-sporting or "companion dogs." Which so sounds courtly, doesn't it? I will be receiving gentlemen callers from 2 to 3 in the parlor with my companion dog.
Our companion dog is a little bit of a nut. She pounds her front two paws on the ground, challenging Simon. BRING IT! BRING IT! I'll be minding my own business, catching up with a little Oprah, and she'll crawl up on my chest and stake my bosoms with her nails. She's not a barker, but she's a dedicated licker of herself, if you catch my drift.
Why do people have pets? (This is not something you want to Google, I'm sorry to tell you, not unless you want to find out something untoward regarding 8% of Australian men.) The general consensus seems to be, though, that pets fulfill (or at least the owners believe the pets will fulfill) an emotional need.
That's not to say that pets bring happiness, always. (A friend of mine almost took on a Mastiff that she had to return to its foster owners because it freaked out when she got close to her husband. Almost 200 pounds of freak-out.)
But all in all, Luna does increase my happiness. I'm not sure that the need she and Simon meet is companionship, exactly, or love. But it's something like that, blended with a need for some sheer absurdity. What I'm saying is, you're going to be waiting a long time if you think that your friends are going to pass gas and then jump up with a betrayed look that says, Why would you make a loud noise like that right near my ass?