While I was laying here trying to sleep, which failed miserably, something kept running through my head, actually a lot of things ran through my head but those may be subjects for another day. Right now I wanted to talk about this particular subject, dog ownership.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of things in social media about people treating their dogs like kids and how horrible it is or how they just don’t know what its like to have a real child. This also covers other stories I’ve heard floating about on the intrawebs about people who give their dogs away after they have children because they don’t have time for them or worse still leave their dog on the side of the road because they think it will be better off in the wild or whatever stupid excuse they had.
First off, I don’t have children of my own but I have been a major part of and helped raise more than a couple over the course of my time here. I do realize that this isn’t the same thing, but I do believe it to be at least akin to adopting a child. Let me start by saying that I do not think that my dog is my child, her name is Lily by the way and she will be called this for the rest of this story/rant. I do love her very much and do my best to take care of her and protect her much like one would a child. Lily is a German shepherd and like other dogs she is a pack animal, meaning that she lives travels eats and cares for the other members of her pack, a dog equivalent to her family. I only clarify this because as the leader of Lily’s pack she loves me unconditionally and looks to me for food shelter and protection. Unlike a child she won’t scream and cry if I don’t get her the newest toy or latest fashions. She’ll never lie or deceive me about where she is or who she’s hanging out with. She’ll never steal from me to pay for her drug habit or buy to buy whatever trinket she thinks she deserves and when she gets older she won’t tell me she hates me storm out of the house and not talk to me for a decade so that she can live her own life instead of mine. Oh yeah, and when I’m old and feeble she won’t see me as a giant burden that she has to take care of until I die and leave her something. Granted, she’ll have passed away long before i get old and feeble but you see the point… I hope.
Now I know all of you people with kids are going to read all that and say “Oh no my perfect little snowflake would never ever do any of that to me,” you may even read this and swear that you won’t say it but you are thinking it oh yes you are but the fact of the matter is that it is very likely that at some point in time your child will do any number of those things as well as a bunch I didn’t list and that’s if you do a good to decent job of raising them. God only knows what possible number of horrible and hurtful things they could do to you if you do a crappy job at it.
So my question is this, why would I treat Lily as less important than my child? I brought her into my life to be a part of my family much like I would having or adopting a child and in return for my unconditional love for her I get unconditional love in return where as I will most likely receive multiple heartbreaks and scorns from a child that I give that same unconditional love to. Maybe I just don’t get it but the fact is that the way I see things it would make much more sense to give unconditional love and loyalty to something or someone that was going to give you the same in return. Now, I’m also not saying that all children will not unconditionally love you but as I’ve gotten older I know that I wasn’t the perfect child and none of my friends were either. I’ve also met many people who have had horrible and strained relationships with their parents for decades. That will never happen with Lily, it just won’t. I give her food, shelter and protection and in return she gives me unconditional love and does her best to take care of me as much as I take care of her.
I’m sure she can’t bring me as much selfish satisfaction that raising a child and seeing them graduate from college and become more successful than I ever have been or walking her down the aisle to get married or give me grand kids to brag about, but she does bring me true joy and happiness almost every day in some way. I’m not saying that Lily is my kid nor do I think it. I also don’t think Lily is better than any of your kids, but she might be. I am just trying to figure out why it’s okay for people to tell me that I shouldn’t love something unconditionally when it loves me unconditionally back especially when they’re comparing it to something that will probably NOT love them as unconditionally as they’d like to think they will, that’s all.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of this and please note that I am truly not trying to start a massive argument or even offend anyone for a change. I simply was lying awake with my buddy insomnia and had these thoughts flowing through my head and decided to share them. If they made you think a bit then great, even if you disagree, If anyone has the answer to my question or even thinks they have it feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Have a great weekend all and love your pack,