I’ll admit up front: I’m not much of a pet person. Growing up, my family only had a handful of pets, few of them traditional. There were a few tiger barb fish my sisters and I had to share until, out of boredom from living in the suburbs, they (the barbs, not the sisters) turned cannibalistic and all died at the most disturbing Thanksgiving feast possible. I have a few glimmering memories when I was three or four of my brother’s psychotically hyper dog who eventually went to a bucolic farm named County Euthanization Station #5.
Things haven’t changed much for me as an adult. Now my kids have a betta fish and my wife has her childhood ornate box turtle. Since neither of these two come when you call them, we don’t really have any pets with deep relationship potential.
All of this probably explains why I get so annoyed when childless people say “My pets are my children.” Or “These little darlings are helping me practice to be a parent.” As any experienced parent and pet owner will tell you, they are a more than just a little bit different. Sure you are taking care of another living creature, but that is where the comparison between your relationship with a human being and an animal ends. But it could be a little more realistic.
So here are 5 ways childless people could make having pets more realistic like having a small child. Continue reading