Last weekend, I was in Chicago.

We had an amazing bootcamp.

Great guys. Great times. Fantastic break throughs.

Not only that, but Chicago cemented itself as one of my favorite cities.

We got to explore Wicker Park on a Sunday, had one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had in my life.

Met some really nice, amazing people. I just enjoyed the entire vibe around the park.

Anyway, as you may know, during a bootcamp, we literally talk to just about every single person that we can find.

Because that’s what life is all about: communicating, talking, building up your confidence, enjoying, and learning from each other. There’s so much more than just meeting girls.

It’s really about how to be an incredibly well-rounded social man.

So we ran into a woman, and her deal was something that I see a lot of.

She loved dogs and cats — human substitutes.

And don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. I really have never met a dog I did not like. I mean how could you not like something that is just pure love, pure energy, and usually adorable? Even the Chihuahuas.

Cats, on the other hand, eh, they’re a little temperamental. I’ve always made a joke about what I think cats are. I always thought cats were just angry women who were constantly on or having PMS come back as a cat.

I know, there are some good cats. I’ve had this debate go on and on with people that there are actually, “some cats that are just like dogs. They chase and do things like dogs.”

We ran into this woman with this great dog. She talked about how this dog was, well, basically the love of her life. And it made me feel sad.

Dogs are fantastic. They really are. They have a small amount of vocabulary that they understand, even though most dog owners will think their dogs understand everything. But really what they understand is your facial expression and your body language and your smile and your energy. Not exactly the words. I hate to burst your bubble.

But this woman talked about this dog being the love of her life and that’s what made me sad. Because, it’s a dog. It’s not a human substitute.

I see women all the time with their dogs in carriages or carrying their dogs everywhere, treating or holding them like babies. Whenever I see that, I always think to myself, she so wants a baby. She can’t have, or most likely, is not having a successful relationship, or maybe she’s past the point of being able to have a baby and this is the next best thing, but it’s still just a dog.

It will never talk back, no matter how smart you think your dog is.

Cats, well, they just stare at you.

It just really does make me feel sad to see people use animals as human substitutes. There’s no substitute for a relationship, a man/woman relationship, or a male/male friendship, a male/female friendship, female/female friendship, etc.

Maybe this is a tough subject for me because, probably for the last 20 years of her life, my mother was that woman before she passed. The love of her life was every single dog that she had.

Every dog was better than the last dog. Each dog fulfilled another romantic or love in her life.

Don’t get me wrong, folks. I love them to death, but they’re just dogs. And they’re just cats. You all think you have the smartest dog in the world. You all think you have the cutest dog in the world. You all think your dog understands everything, but in reality, your dog just understands emotions and if your dog could talk, your dog would probably tell you hey, I’m a dog. I’ve got limited time on this planet. I’m just here to love you, wag my tail, beg for a treat.

But you need to start finding some good, human contact. So if your dog is becoming a human substitute, I want you to think about why and then I want you to start to work on the reason why you’re hiding behind your dog or your cat.