After researching Laura Marks and Britta Jaschinski it was really changed the way I look at animals.Its even led to a this weird loose theory I have, that the amount your animal appears to love you is based on the conditions you keep it. For an example we take the urban pet, the animal that is kept in a small space all day, with no other animals to interact with, it spends the majority of it's life indoors alone. When the owner is home, the pet is now able to interact with another presence! it's fed, able to go out side for exercise. It's days are empty without the owner. In these conditions it really lives for the owner it really has not much else. So from the owners perspective ti really does appear like the animal loves you because your very presence is it's only form of interaction with the outside world.
On the other hand I am often criticised because my pets don't really react when encountering humans or me! they don't really exhibit qualities that resemble love, unless they are about to be fed. I largely believe this is because of the way they are kept. On a farm the owner rarely leaves, the pet has a huge area to explore, lots of other animals to interact with the human is less important to their existence.