My PET Peeve
Father’s Day was just two days ago, and I hope all of the fathers out there had a great bacon-filled day of family fun! Just like other celebrated days though, people placed their well wishes to others on the social networks. So I was reading all of the “Happy Father’s Day!” comments, but I was looking for one in particular. A note that I had read during Mother’s day, and told myself that if I ever saw anyone write this certain comment ever again, I would be ticked. Well, within a few minutes, lo and behold… I was ticked. I hope this makes parents out there as mad as it made me:
“Happy Father’s Day to all of the daddies of children and furry babies alike! Have a great day dads!”
Furry babies?!! They were not referring to babies with a lot of hair; they meant dogs and cats. This was the same type of comment I had seen, directed to moms on Mother’s Day, that stoked the kindling under the fire. The first spark to the tinder came when I heard someone at work saying they had been up all night with their sick child. I felt bad for the person, but then someone asked for specifics. I would say about ninety percent of the people at my job have children, so when someone else speaks of an ill child, we all sympathize and comfort the mom or dad. Well, this woman started talking about her constipated dog!
I understand that some women cannot physically have children of their own. This saddens me, and I would have been heartbroken if I had been unable to bear a child. I don’t think that I could have ever filled that huge spot in my heart with a dog, or any kind of animal for that matter. I don’t care if it was a cool little chimp that knew sign language, followed me around, and gave me sloppy little chimp kisses all the time, I still would never call him my child!
You may be thinking I’m a miszoogynist, well, maybe not that term exactly, but you might be saying to yourself, “Wow, this witch really hates animals!” That is certainly not true; I love animals! They are created by God, and his creations are amazing and wonderful. I never want an animal to suffer or be harmed. It is sad when an animal is injured or sick, and it is horrible to have a family pet die. I have had many pets in my life: dogs, cats, fish, a Moluccan cockatoo, a pot-belled pig, a squirrel, and a lizard. I loved them all, yet once again, let me emphasize… I never called them “my babies” or “my children”. Never once would I expect well wishes on Mother’s Day if I had never raised children, but owned pets. In fact, it would sadden me for someone to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day in that case.
As a pet owner, you are responsible for a life, but you were not part of creating that life. You did not carry this dog or cat inside of you for nine months. You did not go through the pain and accomplishment of labor, or through the months of red tape and the roller coaster of emotions that come along with adopting a child or being a foster parent. You may spend all of your time with your cat- feed it, groom it, and take it to the vet, but it’s just not the same as caring for a human being. Saying you are a mom or a dad, when truly you are a pet owner, is like a civilian putting on a war hero’s uniform and calling himself a veteran. It’s simply wrong and in poor taste.