Would you change places with one of your pets?

Voilà! You are now, in every way, your dog (or whatever). No, you do not have any memory of your former self.

It would certainly be tempting. My10-year old dog Milo, a Parson Russell Terrier, has a pretty good life. He gets to go outside as much as he wants, he is well fed and is played with often during the day. He sleeps 12 hours at night and naps during the mornings and afternoons. He wasn’t allowed to mate, which is a bummer, and his lifespan is relative short compared to mine, but overall not a bad life and without the stress of working, earning a living, and saving for retirement. To live his carefree life would be very tempting.

Oh, jeez, in a hot minute! Meals I absolutely love twice a day, warm laps to lounge on, towers to climb in almost every room, wide shelves or sills under every window - I could even get someone to take me out in the yard on a leash if I wanted to go. There’d be another cat to deal with, and that’s apparently annoying a lot of the time, but the humans try very hard to minimize stress. My only hesitation would be deciding which cat is having more fun.

No, absolutely not. My dog and cat seem happy enough, but they don’t exactly have a wide variety of entertainment options.

Oh, my cats are VERY entertained by a lot of things! And if I had a walnut-sized cat brain, I too could sit for hours looking out the window at birds or leaves blowing in the wind. Come to think of it, the way Netflix has been going, it might be an improvement.

I’d love their freedom to lounge all day outside following butterflies on the breeze or watch minnows in the shallows. Staying up all night monitoring the moon and clocking the shadows across the lawn. and watching the daylight break out while listening for my humans coming to let me inside to feed and adore me. Despite their enviable lifestyle I’m not convinced my pets would be good humans, I think they’d trash the house the car and let me starve.

I don’t know. My bigger dog does have to deal with the most fundamental question on an almost continuous basis: Am I being a good boy?

He WANTS so badly to be a good boy at all times. It’s almost painful to see. He just doesn’t understand what constitutes being a good boy at various times. Must be stressful.

My smaller dog doesn’t give a s*** about being a good girl.

I would change places with my cat Benny in a New York minute. When he’s not ruling the roost over our other 5 cats, he’s eating, sleeping or getting into fun mischief—what’s not to love about that?

I just have to get used to the taste of Little Friskies, and bugs…and learn to appreciate the allure of females of the feline persuasion. Meoow!:cat2: :heart_eyes_cat:

It’s contingent on turning my kids into kittens, however.

Can I be the youngest of my current cats? We probably have a not much different life expectancy.

And would it somehow still be me taking care of the household; or else the people who are supposed to take the cats when I’m gone? Because I suspect said cat wouldn’t do the same sort of job of it.

Yes. To truly experience being your pet you’d somehow also remain your pet’s owner,

And I believe that non-human animals have no notion of their mortality so fear of death would disappear once you become your pet.

I couldn’t be either Siamese cat. They cause it but they are full of stress. And are roundly hated. (Except by me😚)

I could be my dog, Bayliss. Smart. Calm. Loved. Well fed, petable.
Yeah, I could do that.

No. My cats are idiots. So either I’ll become an idiot cat or one of them will make for an idiot human charged with taking care of me.

It’s moot in my case. There’s absolutely NO way that Sammy would trade places with ME :wink:

True, I suspect – or, at any rate, that they have no notion that their lifespans are limited. I think it’s possible that sometimes they know that they’re dying; but I don’t know how we’d tell for sure. I don’t think they’re necessarily afraid of it; but dying humans sometimes aren’t either.

The lack of awareness of lifespan would be one of the things that would help make up for such things as no longer being in control of whether the door would open at any given time. (Plus – no more paperwork! No more to-do list!!)

But in any case it would be me making the decision, while I was still aware of lifespans.

Yes, my girl dog Morgan has a blessed life. My boyfriend likes to say “It’s Morgan’s world, we’re just living in it.”

My boy Grady, no way. He’s as anxious as the day is long. I couldn’t live like that, it’s hard enough living WITH that.

Yes! It’s not just that my dog (well, former dog, now gone to the Rainbow Bridge) enjoyed his life and was always happy. It’s also that dogs by their nature do not worry and ponder about the future; they live totally in the moment, which I guess is one reason they’re so irrepressibly joyful.

Mine seems very entertained. She has a catio, a bird feeding station she can easily view, and all the scratching and petting she could desire. Her favorite cat food is always there, always plentiful. Plus she receives treats. Big bumouts for her are visits to the vet, for rabies shots etc. For a couple of hours she hates me, but it passes. Plus I think I would enjoy purring. It seems a soothing kind of action to her.

I dearly love my animals and I take good care of them and try my best all the time to make sure they have a happy, healthy, comfortable life.

But no, definitely not.

Mostly because, when I look back on when I was a kid, I am always SO glad that I’m grown and have so much autonomy and control over my own life. Not that I can literally do whatever I want at all times with no consequences, but- all the little things like choosing for myself what to eat and what to wear and what to spend my money or time on… it’s huge.

And my pets are loved and cared for and live an easy and carefree life, but it’s also very controlled. I decide what they eat, how much, and when. I decide when or if they leave the house, where they go, where they sleep (the cats and big dog sleep where they like in the house, but the little dog gets crated), whom they get to see… all kinds of stuff. Even if all my needs were met and I didn’t ever have to work or stress over anything again and even if everything is really in my best interest… nope. I want some control over my life.

The other thing is, for my pets in particular… well, you may have noticed, rescue is kind of my thing. All my pets are mine because they had health problems or behavioral problems or serious trauma and nobody else in the world wanted them. Apart from one (who does have a sad story, but is well-adjusted in spite of it), every one of them spent 4+ years in the shelter before coming home with me. All of them are much happier now than when I first met them, but they’re not exactly unscathed.

But if the end goal is happiness, it all becomes a matter of how the reality contrasts with the creature’s world-view, perceptions, and expectations. How would someone from the 18th century feel about modern creature comforts in contrast to their own lives? (Which, by the way, besides being miserable by all modern standards, also included the complete absence of anaesthetics in case they needed whatever almost-non-existent medical care was available; most died young.) But what if you could see what life was like for the coddled superhuman semi-cyborg hybrids of the 23rd century? Would you be so happy with your present life if you could see future standards of life?

The thing about sentient animals like dogs is that they don’t have any of those concerns. They live in the moment, and the ones we love and make part of our lives and take good care of seem to be happier than most of us constantly experiencing intellectual angst will ever be.

Hard decision. Ted can lick… um… nevermind.

None of them can drive the Jeep.