OPINION: You Are Not Your Pet’s Parent
I have a feeling I’ll get some blow-back on this one but it needs to be said. I saw this posted on social media too much to ignore,
“Happy Mothers Day to me! Proud Mama of Ranger and Trigger, my adorable Weimaraners.”
“To my wife Becky, the best Mom our cat Hecuba could ever ask for!”
OK, this needs to stop. You are not your pet’s mother! You’re it’s owner, it’s caretaker, but most certainly NOT it’s mother. If you adopt a child you are the child’s mother because you RAISE that child. You don’t raise a pet. You take care of it and love it, sure, but it’s not the same as what a mother does.
Whenever some yambag tells me that they are “pet parents” and that their animal is their “fur baby” my first thought is, “Really? Do you worry about your Irish Setter hanging with some bad influences at the dog park? Do you lose sleep that some cat down the street may get your Fluffy started on a crippling cat-nip addiction?” Of course you don’t, because being a pet owner and being a parent are two different things. You don’t fret over the amount of time your beagle spends on their phone. And, hopefully, you don’t think about having your 2 year old neutered because you read that that will keep them from digging up the yard.
I want to address those of you who are outraged because you aren’t able to have kids so you’ve decided to lavish all that attention to a hairy kid-surrogate. There’s nothing wrong with that, but let’s not take it too far, ok? It bugs me especially when I see a childless wealthy couple and their spending many thousands of dollars a year on a Pekingese. For that amount of money you could feed a village in Africa. If you have an urge to nurture that you have to fulfill, there are lots and lots of orphans. I was adopted. I’m glad my parents (yes, PARENTS) didn’t just say, “F*** it. Let’s get a parakeet”.
I’m not saying we should stop having pets and I’m not even saying we shouldn’t spoil our pets from time to time. What I am saying is, “priorities, people”.
You are your pet’s owner and caregiver and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re not it’s parent so lets not conflate the two.