I know you are probably thinking our blog died of COVID and in some ways it did but it is still nice to pop back once in a blue moon and vent about something. So here goes…
As some of our more loyal followers may know, while most people my age were postponing weddings, making lockdown babies and getting PhDs during our two-year pause on life, I inadvertently became a dog Mumma to a ‘vicious pitbull’ from the wrong side of the tracks. Beyond becoming an insta-sensation, my ‘oops doggy’ has taught me a lot about taking care of someone other than myself, persevering when things don’t go to plan and dealing with a shit tonne of unsolicited advice. So much so, that I’d really advise anyone human with a heart, especially those looking to procreate or raise little humans to get a shelter dog first to see if they have what it takes to be a parent.
Just like any functioning human baby parent, I’d take a bullet for my dog (and she’d EAT anyone who tried to shoot me) but is it really fair to compare being a dog ‘owner’/mum/dad to being a real-life parent. Of course, there are many (mostly elders and the like) that would say roll their eyes at such a thought, but here’s why people who treat their animals like kids should are entitled to the title despite having none of the benefits that human parents.
If Someone Treats Their Dog Better Than You Treat Your Child, It Says Something You Not Them
Before the arrival of my dog-child, I would have rolled my eyes at the thought of doggy daycare. But I kid you not, such places exist. And not only do they exist but they are otherworldly. With themed rooms, an adventure playground and designated nap time when the pups snooze to the sounds of Mozart, you can’t make this shit up. My first trip to doggy daycare (before my delinquent child was suspended forevermore) was an eye-opener. There were people who packed bone broth for the precious poodles and the fabulous dads who carried their babies in Louis Vuitton pet carriers, I kid you not. At first, I found it all a bit overwhelming and like most people, felt quite cynical about the whole thing After all, if people pay for their dogs to have spa days and swimming lessons, when humans are starving down the road, what does it say about the state of humanity? Well, actually a lot.. In my humble opinion, people who treat their dogs like royalty shouldn’t be looked down upon, in fact, they provide an excellent example for a lot of human parents. At the end of the day, whether you are a pet or baby momma, you should want what’s best for your child and if that means the dog only sleeps on a memory foam mattress, while the procreators of the world leave the mini-mes to fend for themselves. Perhaps, I’m too much of a Thatcherite, but whether you choose a dog, tree or human, it’s up to you to provide it with all the love and a champagne lifestyle it deserves so don’t expect society to foot the bill.
Selfish Motivations Much?
So, I’ve already expressed my unpopular opinion that having children is almost always driven by selfish motivations. However, could the same be said of pet parents? Yeah but no but. So, while some people would say that being a crazy cat (or dog) is synonymous with being a sad spinster, I would argue otherwise. Although fear of dying alone is probably not the best motivation for getting an animal, I don’t think that’s what drives most people to bring these terrors into our lives. While I don’t think the reasons for owning animals are purely altruistic (no one else will love them, they want protection from bad hombre, it’s a cute handbag accessory) and let’s not even get started on the fancy purebred vs. sloppy seconds rescue dog debate here, I think the motivations generally aren’t quite as selfish. After all, as much joy as our pets brings us they are almost certainly going to die in our lifetimes and break our hearts in the process.
I saw a meme some time ago that basically said: ‘Today. plants are the new pets, Pets are the new kids and kids are exotic animals that only the rich can afford. Which pretty much sums things up quite nicely. If you want your kids to have a nice life – books, overseas trips, private schooling and extracurriculars – you better be willing to pay, biatch!. And what kind of decent parent doesn’t want to give their children Disneyland? A lot by the looks of things. Dogs don’t come cheap either – vet bills (15K when that bitch decides she wants to eat rocks), toys, bone broth, designer outfits and bows – however, all in all, you can give animals a great life at a fraction of the cost you’ll pay for an ungrateful little brat, who’ll likely still moan that Billy from school has a PS5 or some nonsense. For most people that aren’t made of money, allowing another living creature into your life (even the plant!) will require you to make certain changes to your lifestyle which people are capable of doing, but the bottom line is just that and if you don’t have the finances to do it well, should you do it at all (while waiting to win the lotto, of course!). Just like once upon a time people used to have 40 kids which dwindled down to 2.4 at some stage, perhaps pet-parenting is just a sign of the financial realities of the age we live in?
And The Final Verdict?
As much as I come across as a crazy dog lady/hater of minions, I’m actually not. While I’m not the type of dog-mum that spends her weekend making gourmet dinners for my mutt, I still want to give her Disneyland (which would be off-leash mountain walkies) and I think the same sentiment should apply to human children. But you simply need to look around to see that it doesn’t which makes me sad.
Of course, raising a human is far more challenging than looking after a puppy. Even with the best intentions, your kid will likely be in need of therapy. Shame. But the sad fact of it all is that we live in a pro-natalist world that glorifies procreation with no real regard for the quality of life that these minions will have. So, I’m glad that there are people out there that bucking the trend, opting not to violate their bodies and choosing to parent pets in an EXTRA way that is far better than the way the average human child is raised. Sure, human parenting is definitely harder (if you are actually putting the effort in), but the fact that a lot of people treat their pets just as they would a human child makes it legitimately comparable.
It’s just sad that we don’t have the same support structures in place and people just roll their eyes when they see you debating the state of world affairs with your dog, interviewing pet-sitters as if they were applying to be the CEO of a global company and sourcing raw salmon skins for your cat. There is no such thing as paw-ternity leave, no tax breaks for adopting a shelter dog and if your dog so much as barks you’ll hear ‘train you f*cking dog’ whereas the world will happily embrace a baby crying on 12 hours flight. Oh, and before the baby mafia come at me saying animals will never do anything to benefit society whilst every child has the potential to cure cancer, let’s just say even my half-blind mutt guarantees that I can walk the mean streets of Cape Town without becoming a statistic which certainly saves police time (and then there are those dogs that sniff our bombs and rescue idiots who get lost of the mountain!).
Regardless, I do think the world would be a better place if everyone was forced to parent a (shelter dog) before sowing their wild outs. At the end of the day, if you are the type of evil that ties your dog to a pole and pokes them with a stick, it’s probably a reasonable indication that you probably won’t do much better when it comes to a little human. Whereas, if you carry you pup in a papoose, you might be accused you being a helicopter parent, but at least you’ll know your heart was in the right place.
So while the audacious idea of ‘pet-parenting ‘might seem sacrilegious to those with aching ovaries, if it’s done well it may just be the thing this god-awful world needs right now.
So rinsers (is anyone still reading1), what are your thoughts on the matter? Are pets the new kids? Or do you think people have become extra in the way they choose to smother their pets? Is it understandable that people are reluctant to have human kids in this god-awful Moneky Pox infested reality (because Covid is so last season) that we are now experiencing? Go insane in the comments,