He related to everyone and everything as if they were mature adults.  As this was pretty much impossible, he was fairly unsuccessful.  Not everything, after all, is a mature adult.  Dogs and cats, for example, to say nothing of children, or for that matter cars.  Cars, especially.  He wanted to have rational, and as much as possible, non-emotional discourse with the world around him.  So with precocious children, he did quite alright, at least until the child decided that he was tired to being grown-up after all and that a good cry would be just about the best thing right bloody now.  Cars that worked, too, were no problem, but breakdowns were completely unacceptable.  Dogs that could shake hands and understand commands were OK, but otherwise not much good in having around.  You couldn’t very well have a chat with Rover about the situation in the Middle East or even the state of the Dodgers pitching staff.  Dogs just didn’t care, or if they did, were content to keep their opinions to themselves.  And once the irrationality began, his first and lasting reaction was to flee the situation.

That ability to at least temporarily put oneself into the mind of another that we call empathy was, to put it shortly, decidedly lacking.