The neighbor was out this morning, walking his two dogs, or what appeared to be large rats, near the garbage bins that the trucks pick up. They may have been dogs, but they looked a little like large South American rats on leashes. But, they were, probably, dogs--as I do not think you are supposed to walk your rats next to the garbage.
It's not that rats do not possess loyalty or altruism. But it's that they are loyal to other rats. (I wrote about it on this venue. http://jacksgreatblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/william-mullen-in-tribune.html).
No one knows why dogs are loyal to humans.
I mean to say it's a mystery; no one has the clue. And neither do I. Dogs may believe that humans have intelligence, and leadership capacity. Well, if humans had any intelligence or leadership qualities they would have figured out by now a basic issue like that of why they are the leaders of the dogs. And we would have published our findings. We must be fooling the dogs.
Dogs, for their part, just admire the heck out of us, and I don't know what for. I wonder who the hell programmed them?
In a quest after trustworthy companions, humans would probably recommend dogs. And the dogs would recommend the human(s).