"With eye upraised his master's look to scan,
The joy, the solace, and the aid of man:
The rich man's guardian and the poor man's friend,
The only creature faithful to the end."
- George Crabbe
A lot of people say that their pet is "like their child".
If you don't have children of the human kind, I suppose if you have an animal "child" he or she IS your baby.
But at the risk of being criticized, let's get real here for a sec.
Being a "parent" to a dog or a cat or a hamster is quite different than being a parent to a human being.
And I have been both. Sort of.
I had pets before I became a mother.
I know that the love between a human being and their pet(s) is indeed, very real and very strong. To say that your pet is "like a member of the family" does not even say it.
They ARE a member of the family.
But it kinda bugs me when I hear people say that having a dog or a cat is like having a child.
I'm sorry, but it's not.
Can a pet compliment your family? Of COURSE it can! It complimented mine when I was living with my parents and we got our dog Toby (RIP).
Toby was a pure-bread, American Cocker Spaniel that my parents surprised my brother Matthew with on his 14th birthday. As Matt is eight years my junior, I was 22 when he arrived, but I was there at the breeders when "Matt picked him out".
I put that is quotations because if memory serves, I kinda picked him. Amongst the litter of tiny, little puppies, I saw little Toby and knew that the first puppy Matt held would be the one...so I quickly handed him to my brother...and the rest, as they say, is history.
|My bro Matthew with our beloved and much missed dog Toby.|
Toby lived with my family long after I left the nest and started having human babies. My older sons grew to love Toby as well. He was a member of the family, after all.
But my boys...well...they are not dogs. Or cats. Or hamsters.
Raising children is nothing like raising a pet.
And raising a pet does is not a preparation course for raising a human child.
They are quite simply two different things; two different types of relationships.
I probably would have a pet if I lived alone. Probably a dog as opposed to a cat - simply because I am more of a "dog person".
They involve more work, yes, but that is just my preference.
And cats have caused me allergy issues in the past. (Thankfully my boyfriend's cat - while she sheds like a mo-fo - white hair on everything…and of course I am usually wearing something black - she is a good-natured feline…and very pretty to boot - even if a little needy. Her meows in the early morning? OK…that is like having a baby sometimes! But at least she doesn't make me sneeze.)
|My pants usually look kinda like this after a visit to my bf's place.|
You'd think I would have smartened up by now - but I refuse to give up my beloved black pants.
But I know she gives my bf a lot of joy and simple companionship. Like me and my three "human babies" - she is part of his family and I have grown rather fond of her.
Now don't get it twisted sister.
I'm not here to preach about having kids versus having pets. Many people have both and if I had the time, money, space and lifestyle for a dog (that my boys keep telling me they want - a Golden Lab puppy if you please) - I could see myself getting one.
|I love me a Lab puppy.|
But how can you not?
But I'm a single mom and I'm busy and it's just not feasible for my family now.
But having a pet will not prepare you for having a baby. I'm sorry peeps.
Nothing prepares you for having a baby.
Even having a baby does not prepare you for having (another) baby!
And don't get me started on having baby number 3.
That is just for nutty people like me.
The other side of the coin I want to mention here is that having a pet(s) rather than children - whether my choice or otherwise - is a wonderful way to compliment a life. As I said, I would probably do it myself. Some people revel in having several pets and get tremendous joy from them - and I think that is awesome.
But it does not prepare you to have a baby.
It prepares you to give and receive love.
And isn't that what life is really all about?
(Wow. Cheesy blog post ending alert!)