What’s the emotional connection between dogs and humans? KALW’s Chris Hoff explored that relationship with Amy Cook. She is a researcher in dog cognition in the Psychology Department of UC Berkeley and has trained dogs for 20 years.

AMY COOK: We make these big romantic stories around what dogs do for us and what they’re like. And I think those stories say more about what we want then they do about the actual relationship.

CHRIS HOFF: Do you think people use dogs as a substitute?

COOK: I think we do. I think people use them as substitute children plenty of times, something to nurture. I think people use them as substitute friends and substitute partners.

Click here to listen to the interview.