Pet vs Family Member
Since becoming a pet owner or pet parent whichever one prefers my eyes have been open to the plight of animals...especially pit bulls. Speaking with a friend over the weekend that is having a life altering situation (a good one) nonetheless its life altering mentioned she was thinking about giving her dog away after having him for 3 years. She mentioned it was heartbreaking for her to think about it but she’s thinking that might be the situation. Of course I listened and offered to help where ever I could however, my mind kept reeling around one question.......why people say they love being a pet parent and their pets are “family members” but when a situation arises the “family member” is the first one to go. Are animals that expendable? Its’ ok we’ll get them back or we’ll get another one just like him or her. If you did it one time it’s safe to say you’ll do it again.
Some will ask, what is the difference between a “pet” vs a “family member?” This is my take on the question. A pet is animal that is not cared for or loved much; they’re seen as an object and not a living breathing creature. Most people or families get a “pet” when he/she is a puppy and so cute and everyone loves the puppy to pieces and is called a “family member” until the puppy is no longer a puppy. The floppy ears are gone, the full features of the breed are well defined, the cute little bark is now louder and deeper than the man of the house and the cute little teeth are now adult teeth, no more puppy toys or food but adult toys (if they still get toys) and adult food are now in the house. All the walks that used to take place are now limited, play time is limited and the “dog” now needs to be out back chained up because he/she is has gotten too big and makes a mess. A “pet” in my opinion is expendable. A “pet” takes up time that could be used for other things. A “pet” is no longer welcomed on trips to grocery store, family vacations etc. NO matter how long a family has had a “pet” the moment “life” happens that “pet” is now in shelter. Usually little to no homework has been done about the shelter; whether it’s a high kill shelter, the hours of operation etc. Many “pets” are dropped off at the local shelter or sometimes abandoned on the side of the road or parking lot and not thought of again. The family the “pet “ once knew as family has abandoned her/him. No one has taken into account how that “pet” may feel. “Pets” don’t have feelings; he/she is a good dog someone will adopt her/him and all will be well. That’s not always the case...in many cases that’s not the end of the story. Many of the “pets” dropped off die in a shelter or worse tortured and killed by those that find them just for kicks. Some die of broken hearts many because there’s limited space in the shelter and rescues/foster homes are full which leads to the “pet” being put down or euthanized. Millions of “pets” meet this fate daily. There are many organizations that do their best to find these lonely, brokenhearted “pets” forever homes where they are thought of as “family members” and not “pets.”
A “family member” is just that...a family member, part of the family. No they don’t pay bills however; they do assist in decision making. An example of this would be where to go on family trips, which area is “dog” friendly, which insurance company to spend your hard earned money that will protect not only you, human member, house but also your furry family member. A positive experience educates family, friends and the community. Someone seeing you with your “family member” may strike up a friendship encourage someone to get involved in plight of your “family member” or adopt a similar “family member.” “Family members” are made time for, provisions are made for “family members,” “family members” are not disposable. You care for a “family member.” When a member of the family is sick the other members tend to care for or do what they can for that member, when a family member is in need of something someone in the family ensures their needs are met. A family is well taken care of, thought of highly, always made time for (which include(s) walks, play time, annual vet visits to ensure the health of your “family member”) and more importantly LOVED! As we all know there are exceptions to every rule.
Morale of the story think before you or family decides to adopt....ask yourself and family this one question. What do we want...a “pet” or “family member?” if your answer is a pet maybe it’s not time for you or your family to adopt however, if your answer is a “family member” you may be ready for your forever family member