I was born into a household with a dog, since that moment on I have constantly lived and grown up with animals. Not just my own, but other pets and even the strays.
A dog is a life, one that cannot communicate using words, which makes it all the more reason to go beyond words and rather connect with the animal at an emotional level, wherein the animal converses with you without words.
I have also worked under a veterinary practitioner, just out of sheer interest and will to help animals. That experience has left me with a few handy things like inducing oral medication or injections if need be.Apart from that just a very strong sense of knowing if there is something wrong or required by the animal.
I would as an individual prefer spending time with animals, over human beings. I believe there is a huge unexplored potential with regard to human and animal interaction and bonds. Which is something that we as the evolved beings should strive to achieve, for mother nature and the connect with her is far more important and useful than abusing her like we do. :)