So as frequent followers of my blog I’m sure already know, and also anyone who has noticed my web address has most likely figured out, I am completely obsessed with my “furbabies.” I get them fancy and healthy dog food and treats, I brush them with a dog brush that cost way more than my own hair brush because it is designed specifically not to scratch them, my floor is littered with various dog toys, and I allow them on all the furniture pretty much all the time. Both they and I know how spoiled they are and that’s okay. Some people would never allow their dogs to lick them or jump on them, I’m sure a few friends don’t like coming over to mouch off of us anymore because our apartment clearly revolves around dogs and I’m totally okay with that.
I read an article the other day by fellow blogger about how it is offensive to moms everywhere when a childless person refers to their pets as their “furkids.” Whoa…hold up! First of all, I do that all the time but even if I didn’t that is a huge statement. I have noticed in the past that many (although not all) mothers like to constantly pat themselves on the back, and I won’t argue with that. I see what my brother and I put my mom through on a daily basis, and I see how much other mothers around me struggle for their kids. I get it but why do some feel the need to rob the title from other woman? Having kids is a brave choice and no one is trying to take that away. Maybe they cannot have kids of their own for biological reasons, maybe they feel the urge to mother but do not have a partner, maybe they do want to carry and birth their own kids but they don’t quite feel ready for the commitment yet so they got a pet. I wrote in a past post that I feel more comfortable with pets right now because I’m still sort of figuring out how to take care of myself and dogs offer me more of a learning curve than having a baby would, and I stand by that. I have also admitted that because my dogs are so much more work than my snake I do love them more, and I’m sure that I will experience the same thing if and when I have a human child but why does it have to be a contest? Ed and Eddy will still be my “furkids.” I’ll still love and watch over them even if I have other more pressing responsibilities.
I do not want to insult this blogger, she has two dogs and three of her own biological children and I respect that. That’s five living entities that look to her and it must be extremely draining. Everyone is entitled to an opinion though so let me run through hers and give you mine. The first reason she says not to use the term “furbabies” or “furkids” is that “dogs (or cats really) ain’t people.” True. I got to look through a crowd of small rescue dogs at Luvable and pick my boys out, but doesn’t everybody recognize that whether or not I call them my babies. Nobody is under the impression that I pushed them out of my baby makers. She says that even adopting a child or baby is more rigorous…well I’m sure it is. In order to bring my Ed and Eddy home from Luvable however I had to get consent from my landlord to show them which meant actually that Eric and I had to move, I had to get references saying that I would be a suitable dog owner (I got one from an old roommate I had when we lived together with three HUGE dogs), I had to be interviewed, and I had to go through a week long trial period. So I worked and gave things up to have these particular dogs in my life, just because it didn’t take as long or cost as much money as it does with human kids doesn’t mean it was nothing.
On the other hand perhaps getting a dog “just doesn’t stack up” because as she suggests when a baby wakes you up in the middle of the night it’s a process that can take hours, while strapping my dogs up and taking them down stairs for a walk (often in cold rain) will probably take no longer than twenty minutes. Baby-proofing the house might be more rigorous than most instances of dog-proofing but as my readers know my naughty dogs can climb, jump, and chew almost anything. I have to keep a constant eye on my boys and they still get into mischief. Which means that although we do have the benefit of leaving the dogs home when we go out it is somewhat of a process. We have to close them in the bathroom which we must first empty completely and then we also usually leave the heat and a youtube music channel on so that they stay quiet, this is nice for neighbors I suppose but it raises our bills once again. We almost had to take Ed to the animal ER in the middle of the night once too because of his doggy asthma but we managed to come up with a home remedy, and while it is true that there are no legal ramifications if your dog dies (although animal abuse is now a felony) it is still something that most dog owners would do nearly anything to avoid.
Lastly she makes the point that human children are more gratifying. They learn how to talk and you as a parent have a bigger influence on their life. You can have a real two sided conversations with your kid. A human kid is more like you and it’s human nature to prefer the similar. Also, hopefully a kid will be in your life longer than a pet will. Again, I get it. These are all valid points and contributing factors in why my future husband and I have started seriously talking about having kids in the future. Ed and Eddy have been a huge influence on the way I look at expanding my family, when I see Eric with them I know he’ll be a great father. I look at myself and see how much I put up with on a daily basis and it gives me confidence in myself as a mother.
It is true that Ed and Eddy have probably been more difficult than most other dogs, Ed has a head injury and Eddy is afraid of his own shadow, so maybe that is why I feel so strongly the way I do. They are needy and whinny and mischievous, but I don’t think that someone ought only be able to profess parenthood when something is hard. If you love them enough and let them affect your emotions I’m not disinclined to say they’re your kid.