|And it's status is NOT as high as me or any other human in the house.
Yes, but if it's my house the dog rates higher. Sorry. He lives here. For the record, I have a well behaved small dog. He doesn't jump on people, hump legs, siff crotches (he'd need a ladder anyway), bite, or drool. He's not even a big shedder. But he lives here. If you have some big fear of dogs or want consider your comfort more important than the dog's feelings (meaning, if you are one of those people who gets all snappy because the dog is in the room and looking at you or sniffing around your shoes), you probably won't like coming to my house. He does bark, but this has developed since we had the baby and he seems to just be on high allert if anyone (new) is getting too close to her. I think this is OK as he isn't growling or acting aggressive, just barking at to get our attention. Once we tell him it's ok, he settles.
I like my dog. I like him better than a lot of people - and he likes everyone. He might like them from afar, he might quiver with excitment and hope for some attention, he may sit three feet away and do all his tricks in hopes of a little acknowledgment but he's a good fella. I don't get why some people are so bitter towards ALL dogs and the people who love them. It seems like the same kind of bitterness you see from the anti-kid people.