Should we treat our pets like our children?
My dog, Cloudy, got me thinking a bit this morning as he waited patiently for me to make his flea sauce. She had her favorite teddy bear in her mouth and leaned in, asking me to take her to a play session.
It was not the first time that she behaved like a child or showed attachment to her “parents”.
Pet owners develop bonds with their dogs that others, including family members, find it difficult to empathize with. There are times when they look at me curiously to give Cloudy a hug after she completes a run through the park.
There is a biting, or at least nibbling, gap between pet owners and non-pet owners that needs to be addressed. Perhaps your fear of dogs was due to a bad experience of being bitten by one. Their dislike could also be due to the sheer revulsion caused by pet owners not clearing up after a walk in the park.
This gap always begs the question “Should we treat our dogs like our children?”
The bond with a dog is one of implicit trust. Once formed, the dog sees you as his leader and looks towards you to show him the way. As they follow you, show their faith that your path is the right one. Trust that you won’t abandon or hurt her.
Your acceptance of our affection is unquestionable.
We love our dogs for the feelings of dependency they give us. They make us feel needed. That need continues for life.
A relationship with a dog is innocent and uncomplicated. He has no particular motives or reasons for his actions, and that is where his psyche differs from ours.
That naivety is a real draw. Add unconditional loyalty to the mix. There are times when you will come home to a spouse watching television and he or she will ignore you when you walk through the door. It is always the dog that greets you.
You are probably assertive with a playful dog that shows no signs of defiance or conversation.
Like all children, dogs get excited, sometimes better than we do. They respond to your feelings of happiness, sadness, or anger. They understand tension, many times better than humans.
Treating dogs like children is a given, considering these very understandable reasons. Owners have to do it taking into account the feelings of those who prefer not to have one in mind.
This means that pet owners must go to the trouble of cleaning up after their pets, just as non-owners must try to empathize and adapt.
It also means that the owners have to train the dogs to follow and not jump at passersby. They have to control themselves with other dogs.
Taking everyone into account, dogs are like children.