People Who Treat Their Dogs Like Children

So far since I started this blog no one has outright flamed me and called me a jerk, but I think today might be that day.  I know many of you out there are dog lovers and I fully expect to hear from a couple of you.

Let me start by saying I've never had a dog.  I never even wanted a dog.  Once I dog-sat for my brother's dogs for a weekend and I thought I'd die from the pressure (because in those days, those dogs WERE his kids and I was terrified one was going to die on my watch).  I don't really like dogs.  I think they're cute and adorable and what not, but I also think they stink, they make a big mess and they're expensive.  I've already got two kids who are cute, adorable, stinky, make big messes and cost me a ton of money why in the world would I bring a dog into the mix??  Now that I've made that list I can see how people might think they're similar - but I don't.

A dog is not a child.  A child is that tiny human being that lives in my house.  It walks and talks and poops in a toilet (finally!).  It cannot be left alone for the day chained in the yard with a bowl of water and a rawhide bone.  It doesn't sleep in a cage or in my bed.  It has never chewed up my shoes or drank out of the toilet.

(I do have one child who has an imagination and PRETENDS to be a dog.  Shocker.  She was born in the Chinese Year of the Dog and we unknowingly gave her a dog name.  She never had a chance.)

I love when we go to a party and we meet "dog parents."  We make small talk and it finally comes up:  "Do you have kids?"  I'll ask.

"No.  But we have a dog."

"Oh...that's nice."

"Yes.  It's just like having a child.  She's our baby.  Would you like to see a picture of her?"

At this point they are met with an awkward silence from the Hubs and myself, because we truly do not know how to respond.  If we open our mouths, we will surely say something rude like, "Hell no.  It's a dog.  I'd barely be interested in seeing a picture of a real baby if you actually had one so I definitely don't want to see a picture of your dog."

Or I might say to them,  "Oh your dog is like a baby?  Oh really?  Do you prefer Pampers or Huggies?  Are you nursing?  Isn't pumping a bitch?  Who is your daycare provider or are you home with the little darling?  Is she talking yet?  Is she eating solids yet?  Who is your pediatrician?  Where do you do Mommy & Me classes?  Does she sleep through the night?"  

And then I'd just go on my rant:

Yeah, your dog is nothing like a baby.  

You can knit sweaters for it and put bows in its hair and push it around in those weird doggie strollers or carry it in your Prada bag but it's still a dog.  You can talk to it in baby talk and cuddle it like a baby - but it's not a baby.

Your dog is not a person.

Your dogs licks its own balls.  I don't know any people who do that.  You don't need to leave the TV on for it when you leave the house to run errands.  Your dog does not like CSI.  (And BTW you can't have it both ways.  If your dog is like a baby then CSI is completely inappropriate.  Real babies don't watch CSI.  Better try Dora instead - then maybe your dog could learn Spanish.)  You don't need to take your dog to see a shrink when it seems sad and get some Puppy Prozac or a medium so it can communicate with you.  ("Your dog is telling me how much she loves you and wishes you'd rub her belly more often.  That'll be fifty bucks.")

I will never go to a memorial service for a dog.  (These exist, people.  I've heard about them.  Slide shows set to music and eulogies for Pepper the Best Dog in the World.)

I know that your dog is nothing like my kids because I'll feel bad when your dog dies.  I will.  (I'm not heartless!)  But losing a dog is nothing like losing a child.  If you lost a child, I'd be heartbroken for you.  I wouldn't be able to fathom the absolute unbearable pain you would have - because that was your child.

That was the little person whose first word was "Mommy" and draws "foldable hugs" for you to carry around in your pocket so you can have a hug anytime you need one.  That was the little person who loves puppies and wants a pair of damn Shape Ups.  Does your baby want Shape Ups?  Or an iTouch?  Or a DS?  I doubt it - because he's a dog.

OK dog lovers, let me know what a jerk I am.  I can take it.

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Anonymous said...

You are my new heroine! I can't seem to figure out when that line was crossed where pets (most especially dogs) became people. Emotional support dogs, outfits, strollers, gourmet foods, being allowed in stores and restaurants, specialty drinks from Starbucks; what the hell happened? Thank you for saying everything I've been thinking for at least the past 4 years.

Anonymous said...

I have two dogs and two nephews. And I love both but I do love your post and totally get it. I know people like that too

Anonymous said...

Brittney you need to GTFO

Kayla said...

Gtfo you brat

Anonymous said...

I am not offended or upset by your words. You described me to almost a T. I love my 10-year-old short legged Jack Russell Terrier. I call him my baby. I do not dress him up, but he wears a coat during the winter. I let him sleep at the edge of my bed if he wants. When we go out everyone knows him and calls out to him. The children all love him and call him the “Target dog” because of the spot covering one eye. He is so sweet and handsome. Just because I feel this way doesn’t mean I do not understand that he is a dog and not a human being. I do not have children, but I have 32 nieces and nephews. They love him too. There is enough love to go around this world and back. Find love where you can and be happy.

Unknown said...

Calling someone a bitch bc they dont like dogs and dont understand the crazy people who actually thinks a damn dog is equivalent to child is sure showing tolerance huh? I say it loud and proud I HATE DOGS!!! They are stupid, smelly, destructive, annoying, gross little beasts. They are the most annoying animal anyone can choose as a pet and the people who think they are "children" are damned morons. Now, tokerate that!

Anonymous said...

You sound like a complete bitch

Anonymous said...

Jesus I feel sorry for your baby. Imagine having a self-absorbed, sociopathic whore like you for a mother. Poor thing.

Tharon Pleiades said...

People who love dogs more than people tend to be people that other people don't like, lol. Yeah, kids are far more complex than dogs, that's the point. Any dog given the kind of attention a kid gets will worship the ground you walk upon, kids wont, they'll probably hate you at times.

So yeah, dog people who hate kids tend to be people who just hate people and want a yes man, a lacky to follow then around, not somebody with complex thoughts that may disagree with you or dislike you.

Tharon Pleiades said...

Love this reply. There's nothing wrong with loving a dog to bitzies, but to think it's the same as a kid is nutzo.

Tharon Pleiades said...

That's really the thing. And that's fine. But to remain sane and live in Truth, one must accept a dog is very different than a child. Love em up all you want, but it's crossing an unhealthy line, imo, to think owning a dog is the same as raising a child.

Tharon Pleiades said...

Love this. People seem to be very hurt to admit that a dog will never be the same as a child. Sure, love it as much as you want! But it will never be the same as having a kid. There are seriously huge differences.

Jim Gaughagin (sp?) does a great bit on people comparing having a baby to getting a puppy. (He's a comedian, for those who don't know.)

Tharon Pleiades said...

As a person with small children and a dog, it does feel that way sometimes.

Tharon Pleiades said...

That's the hang up. You can love them all the same... But owning a dog and having a child are completely different experiences (I have both).

Nobody is saying either is better, at least im not, but raising a child is far more complex than owning/raising a dog.

It's different. That's a fact.

Tharon Pleiades said...


Mind your own business. said...

My goodness what a pointless blog “ people I want to punch in the throat “ really ?
Who died and made you judge of the worlds behaviour?
The title alone makes one get you have a problem . Then the tone aggressive and meddling in others lives and choices as if you had the right to interfere.
You really need to see someone about that .
Get a grip . There’s so many more things in this world to be justifiably upset about .
You are one sad individual

Mr Frudo said...

Those who are pet lovers and love their pets i would suggest them to use Rover UK voucher Codes on their pets such as health food etc

Lana_banana said...

I grew up loving animals so much but after i had my child i realized that nothing compares to that love. I also think pet ownership in alot of ways is cruel no matter how you dice it. All these people saying that parents are raising self centered brats but im not the one keeping a thoughtless companion around who us entirely dependant on me and only purpose is to serve my needs. Wolves are very human i watched a documentary on them they are complex. Sorry to rant further but we had a very smart dog growing up he was a border collie and a dog genius he didn't like pet life he would line up rocks for fun and always ran off on adventures for weeks sometimes. All im saying is dogs and kids are not the same and dog lovers should risk the possibility of rejection from a human being it's worth the oppurtunity for a true equal partnership dogs can not do that.

Lana_banana said...

First of all grades do not measure all aspects of what a person can do. Very intelligent does not equate success. And working at wallmart takes alot of mental strength to stay sane im sure. I can teach my child and feel true love from her. When you die of grumpy man death your dog will most likely eat you and hump your cold leg.

Lana_banana said...

She should get a sitter then. Seriously my roonates dog ate fucking fish entrails and licked my face and wouldn't fuck off despite my attitude i was kind she is a nice dog and its not her fault she has been inbred into a docile beast.

Anonymous said...

The post isn't about whether or not you like kids. It's about the fact that dogs are NOT kids. And the reasons most people cite for not liking kids are some of the main ways that being a parent to a real child is an entirely different scenario than having a dog. Unconditional love for a child is impressive because they take so much work. Dogs are easy.

Unknown said...

My mom sleeps with my dog in the bed cause he loves her ok then she puts him in the cage

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't refer to a dog as my child, but why does it matter if people do? It makes them happy and doesn't harm anyone.

Anonymous said...

The article is fair enough but some of the comments seem a bit horrible. There's no need to be insulting because someone likes dogs, or use somewhat abusive language towards children.

Seraphysia said...

I wasn't on the extreme end of the spectrum of this thank goodness, but I did grow up in a family that, once again, didn't take it to the extreme, referred to our pets as "babies". I did not realize how detrimental this was to not only your health as a dog owner, but to the dog itself, until I became an adult and as of yesterday along with my husband had to explain to my parents how bad our dogs' behavior was and how out of control it had become. My father and husband had to separate our boxer mix and shepherd mix when they started fighting in the back yard, and it seemed to finally dawn on my parents that we weren't making things up. We weren't exaggerating when we said we were exhausted because we felt like we couldn't control the dogs. My husband had once had both of them trained very well, but we had to live with my parents for a short period of time while we saved up for a home. During that time, our dogs unlearned everything, to make a long story short. Now that we've been in our house for over a year, life with them has been very stressful and tense. I knew something had to change, because while I do love my dogs and don't want anything bad to happen to them, I don't want to feel like they run things. I need them to understand their place in the pack. After doing my own research with my husband, and really having a heart to heart with my parents about how things need to change, I have to say I feel a lot better. We are not being "cruel" or "malicious" as some websites would have you believe, when we give our dogs rules and structure, it is what they understand. I don't blame anyone that thinks weird dog person behavior is weird. It has admittedly gotten extreme, and it's not benefitting the animal or the human.

TLDR. Asser yourself as alpha, your dog will be fine, structure is healthy and can ultimately save your dog's life.

Best of health to you all and take care.

Anonymous said...

Buy they don't CARE that you have allergies. your supposed to let their dog leave hair all over (you never completely rid a house of dog hair) and piss on your Hastas, maybe leave a turd for you to step in. Hop on your furniture with their dirty unwashed bodies they clean with their toilet paper tongues. your supposed to happy about the fact your house will stink for a week after.

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