kpntreal, I also wonder if your dog is to an extent getting away with being carried instead of walking simply because he can, ---- yes, dogs will do that
Myself, I've always found animals easy to get on with, indeed animals of various kinds tend to like me. This is especially true for dogs sinse I've grown up with dogs, but the same thing has happened with cats, rats, sheep, a pig I once met on a farm, and even a gorilla, ---- yes gorilla! being hugged by a gorilla twice my weight was a surprisingly profound experience, particularly with how safe I felt.
I often find i can express a lot with animals through touch and closness that I can't express with humans, indeed during my abuse when I was 13, Jessy, my bull terrier puppy was about the only creature I'd let close to me. She was with me for 14 years ever sinse she was four weeks old and I was 13, right through my abuse and recovery, and I don't think I've ever been quite as close to an animal, ---- even when I went to university I could speak to her over the phone. jess was also very much a one person dog, and also extremely definite in what she did and wanted, (I indeed had to play a lot of pack leader games with her or otherwise she'd have ended up running my life instead of the other way around).
Jess died two years ago, and that was one of the worst experience I've had recently.
Last october, I got a guide dog, a black lab retreaver cross called reever. the month of training wasn't easy, ---- not because the actual training was hard, but because Reever, like most guide dogs, had been moved around from place to place and really! didn't want to be with me at all, indeed she spent the first week sitting by my front door weighting for the trainer to take her home, and walking away whenever I stroked her, ---- this as you can imagine was emotionally extremely! difficult, especially for me who usually gets on extremely well with animals.
This is also why i'd never describe dogs as co dependent, if a dog doesn't like you, it makes that pretty dam clear. With dogs, it's much more about a certain relationship betwene you and the dog, a pack relationship, which is in some ways quite formalized, albeit that it can still be incredibly close and fulfilling on both sides.
I've managed to establish this with reever, and we now are becoming extremely close, but it took quite a lot of work on both sides, nor are we yet quite as close as I was with jess, ---- sinse we've just not been together that long. Though I do really quite love reever now and things are getting better constantly, indeed I've noticed in recovery terms having a dog really helps with depression.
Myself, I would never describe an animal in human terms as a child, sinse for me the ways I interact with animals are just so different to the way i'd interact with a human. Indeed, one ironic thing is that while I don't get on well with kids, I absolutely love babies and very small children under the age of about 18 months, simply because I can! interact with them the same way I interact with animals, after all, a puppy and a baby aren't that dissimilar.
One thing that I have noticed, is something that I've always wanted to have with a human, but have only thus far had with a dog, which is a sort of physical closeness, ---- an ability to literally feel and be aware of the pressence of someone else and physically miss them when they're not there. This is something I very much got with Jess, and with my mum's dog zia (who for some reason really likes me specifically). I'm now getting it with reever, but again it takes time to establish. It's something I've wanted to have with a human, a form of entirely physical, but utterly none s/xual intimacy, just an intensive knolidge of the weight, mass, feel and presence of someone else's body and the emotional closeness that brings.
As I said, I think it's a mistake to considder animals similar to people, sinse the methods of interaction and behaviour are utterly different, ---- for instance, I'd never use force of personality to compell a person to do anything, (this isn't a threat, but a certain way of none verbal communication which I learnt with jess, a method of projecting force and pack leader vibes). Though it's still possible to become extremely close and have some wonderfull relationships with an animal, just slightly different ones to what you'd have with a person, though in a sense for me the differences are what makes relating to animals so much easier.