We can feel so much compassion and connection to other animals. Whether they’re dogs, cats, gerbels, or a small used jar with a spider in it that you poke holes in and give grass to every day (I did that once when I was about 10 years old. The spider died not long after. I feel bad.)
The human condition is a complex one, and one that involves such a thing as human eotion and consciousness that we still understand very little about (at least analytically).
That dog, that cat, that spider in a jar (I’m sorry, again Mr or Mrs spider) can have an impact on our life as great, or even greater than that of another member of our own species. Maybe that’s what makes humanity unique compared to all other species. That we are able to care for species (even if it’s not only out to replace someone lost close to them from the same species.)