Here’s a Brief Reminder That Pets Really Are People Too
Can we agree to stop using the term pet ownership? You can no more own a pet than you can own a child. You can bring a child into your life. You can take responsibility for a child. You can befriend a child. But you can never own one, nor should you want to.
So why should it be any different for pets? We pet parents often say that pets are people too. But we forget how true that sentiment is, using it instead as a cutesy throwaway line that expresses a general affection for pets. But it is so much more than that. Some of the worst animal atrocities occur when we forget about the personhood of animals.
In 2011, almost 46,000 pets were abandoned. This happens when we fail to consider the true task of pet parenthood. When we think of it as ownership, then pets are property to be discarded when inconvenient. When parenthood is in view, the responsibility and relationship become clearer.
Here is a brief reminder of some of the ways that pets really are people too:
Pets Also Hate Pests
Have you ever noticed the similarity between the words “pets” and “pest”? One is something you cherish and want to keep forever. The other is something you loath and want to be rid of as quickly as possible. Thing is, pets feel the same way about pests as we do.
The same creatures that cause you to itch also cause your dog to itch. And your dog is exposed to more of them than you are. You walk your dog once or twice a day. But you don’t crawl on your hairy belly in the grass collecting fleas and ticks like they do. If you do collect the occasional unwanted critter, you bathe a whole lot more than your pet. So you likely don’t notice the stray parasite here and there. Your pet has no such luxury.
When you live in a hot-weather climate like Arizona, you want the best pest control Arizona has to offer. You can’t afford to mess around with this stuff. It is too important to your health, comfort, and sanity. The same is true for your best friend. If anything, they require first-class pest control even more than you do.
Pets Just Wanna Have Fun
In 1979, Cyndi Lauper emphatically declared that girls just wanna have fun. She may have overstated her case just a wee bit. But had she insisted that pets just wanna have fun, no part of that would be in dispute.
Pets want to run and play and frolic and indulge in their version of laughter. Fun is their career. And it is a career they take very seriously, to the extent that they take anything seriously. To that end, every pet needs fun pet products.
The great thing is that those fun products for pets are also fun products for pet parents. The same toy that gets little biscuit outside and running around usually does the same for us. They have the same need for having a good time as we do. So it is no surprise that the good times are accomplished by the same fun products.
Pets have a rich, emotional life. They may not recite poetry. But they will sacrifice themselves to save a friend. They need and deserve all the love you can give them. While you are always a pet’s legal guardian, at some point, you make the transition from parent to friend. Pet friendship is not just a responsibility, but a privilege.
Pets are people too. And you can see that clearly once you notice that they hate the same pests as you do, enjoy the same fun as you do, and cherish their friendships as much as you do. They may not be human. But pets are some of the best people in the world.