It's a really interesting study, isn't it? And persuasively written up in the editorial done for the NYT.
It remains a controversial conclusion though, and I suppose will for some time, until we find better ways of understanding and studying the issues. One of the researcher's colleagues has written an article that disputes the interpretations, quite interesting for a contrasting view:
One point that struck me, is that MRIs used for studying emotion and psychology in humans have not only been controversial but some of the conclusions have been pretty soundly trounced as being unreliable. New Scientist did a couple of big stories on what has happened in this area with human research in the past couple of years.
But I fully agree that dogs have more depth than some grant them!!!! :D
Well studies or not I do think (know) dogs have feelings. Fletcher very much seems to be in tune to our feelings. When anyone in the house is sick )or hurt like I am now. He knows and wants to be near the person. My daughter, Haley was sick a few weeks ago, she and Fletcher do NOT cuddle- her choice she does not cuddle AT ALL. For the first time ever he scratched at her door, she let him in her room and they slept together all afternoon. Fletcher gets upset and hides when Mr. Monster gets in trouble and has to go to time out. I do not think he would be capable of showing empathy without feeling of his own.
I don't need MRIs or scientific equipment; I know our Sophie has feelings and emotions. If y'all could only have seen the looks she threw us when our son and daughter-in-law came to live with us temporarily and brought their dog.
Oooooh, if looks could kill....... :yikes
Our last dog had feelings and emotions, too. When our foreign exchange student's year was up and he returned to his home country, our Shih Tzu was quite depressed for a few months. One could not miss it. He seemed even more "down" when our son left home to go to college, a year later. I felt so badly for him (the dog).