All my life (or at least since I was 19 years old and got my first Chihuahua) I have joked that I am a crazy dog lady. I love that title, because after all, I AM a crazy Chihuahua chick. What I can't get past is the eye rolls I see people do, not necessarily about me but about other people when they talk about their dog or cat. Or when they make snide remarks like "It's just a dog/cat/rabbit/hamster,etc."
So I decided to write a blog post that would explain why my role as a dog mom is really no different than your role as a human parent. You see, my dogs are just like your kids in many ways, and also they are different from them in many ways. So here is my list. I thought if I explain it, maybe people will understand why we consider our pets as family members, just as if they were humans.
1| My dogs are dependent on me but not just till they are in their teens. Just like your children are dependent on you for at least 18 years of their life, my dogs are dependent on me for their WHOLE life. It is I who will have to take care of them when they are seniors.
2| I WILL live to see them pass. One blessing (and curse if it's the opposite) of being a parent to a human child is that your children usually outlive you. Haven't you heard people say that's the absolute worst thing (and an unnatural thing) for a parent to have to bury their child? Well, the crappy truth is that as a pet parent, I eventually will have to make the difficult decision of when it's time to let my babies cross the rainbow bridge. And if you have ANY friends that have had to do this, you hopefully can understand how devastating it can be.
3| My schedule revolves around my dogs. I can't just go from work to happy hour if I wanted to, because no matter what I always have to stop home to feed my dogs and let them out. It's not possible to stay the night at someone's house if you can't be there in time for their breakfast and first potty of the day.
4| They are expensive. Vet bills add up, as do food and grooming costs. Oh and pet insurance? It doesn't work out to everyone's advantage, especially if you haven't had it since your dog was a puppy.
5| My dogs get sick. Just like your kids get sick, my dogs get colds, coughs, allergies, and bumps and bruises. Oh and just like your kids, they need the proper nutrition to stay healthy, and I'm NOT just talking about Grocery Store Dog Kibble.
6| They have behavioral issues. Some dogs don't like strangers, or strange dogs, or loud sounds, or obeying rules. They can destroy your favorite shoe just like a child could!
7| Each dog has their own personality. When one isn't around, the entire energy in my house is different because that dog's special energy is missing. Pixie is the smart bossy girl, Stella is sweet and cuddly, Rocky is loyal and loves to be held, and Grace is the dependable sidekick.
8| I miss them when I'm gone. When I'm away from home, I miss them, just as you miss your child when they are at school. And they miss me. If you don't believe that a dog can miss it's owner just go to Youtube and watch some of the awesome reunions between a dog and their owner.
9| I miss work for them. Vet appointments and emergencies can pull you away from your job and other regular commitments.
10| They are not my whole life but they make my life whole. So when you see me post about them, just know that what it looks like to you, is what your posts about your kids look like to a pet parent.
11| Tolerance. Basically, what I want you to know is that if YOU are annoyed by or get irritated with someone talking about their pets and how much they love them, then that's YOUR problem, not mine. I can tolerate people talking about their kids even though I don't have any. I can relate through my pets.
I repeat... if you are annoyed with me talking about my dogs or sharing photos of them on Facebook then the problem is within YOU, not me.
You do not have to agree with my love for my dogs and you certainly don't have to understand it, but if you can't respect it then keep it to yourself. I always tell people that if you were to tell a pet parent "It's just your stupid cat" it would hurt them the same way it would if someone said "It's just your stupid kid."
Can you guys relate to this? If so, please share my post!
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