Things are pretty awkward when you are responsible for a pet. We see them as these cuteness machines, grossly exagerrated and sickly sweet, all the while believing that they somehow need us. No, no, it's the other way around.
Pets make us feel needed, in a simple and non-judgemental way. They demand our attention, and in giving that attention we are fulfilled, even for the shortest moment. They're like simple, daily lessons in empathy. And all because: you might be a self-serving asshole to the rest of the world, but you sure as fuck feed your dog. And if you don't, they're gonna die--and thems some hard feelings to ignore.
They engage a part of us that we all desperately want engaged, and for that reason we are able to deny all rational logic: they get us to do their bidding.