Karen, on that scale, I am a zero. Like you said, sometimes I wish I felt at least a little bit of tolerance for kids...just to show everyone I'm not an evil person, I just don't like kids at all.
But that's the way I am.
LadyLvsNyt (I keep having to scroll up and scroll back down to type your name right! Haha), it's good to know the details on your opinion. Although I respected your opinion, I wondered how you could judge someone else's feelings, especially being child-free and being judged yourself, but it's good to know your mother-in-law's relationship with her dogs is just weird to you rather than unacceptable.
I treat my cats as family, as a parent would treat their human child, but trust me...I don't like the over the top cooing, either.
Navigaar, I could copy and paste your post and add in a different animal. I've had many people with close connections to me pass away, then I've had animals pass away. When the people die...I just want to say, "Okay, so what...let's move on." It doesn't bother me. I had chickens when I was in middle school, and the death of my runt hen, ChiChi, sent me into a deep depression amoung other things that lasted until two years ago. I felt guilty over her death for seven years...I couldn't eat for days after her death...I wanted to pass myself, even staying at Children's Hospital for suicidal reasons. All this sounds ridiculous for someone who doesn't believe that a person can have a deep connection with an animal (let alone a chicken), but I've been through it and the mourning stages are intense. I've never felt anything for any human other than my husband...the rest of my deep relationships have been with animals. I may be weird, but I'm guessing you agree when I say I wouldn't have it any other way.