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View Full Version : how many folks feel like their pets are like family?



DL Hegel
08-25-2008, 10:57 PM
My cats are like children--2 year old children that almost never behave:D

alleycat
08-25-2008, 11:01 PM
I think my cat feels like her pet (me) is part of the family. She believes it's good to have a human around for the entertainment value.

DL Hegel
08-25-2008, 11:04 PM
I think my cat feels like her pet (me) is part of the family. She believes it's good to have a human around for the entertainment value.
We are not just entertainment value? well spank me and call me silly--billy

Alpha Echo
08-25-2008, 11:06 PM
Teddy, our 100 lb golden retriever, is our monster, but we wouldn't have it any other way. :D

DL Hegel
08-25-2008, 11:10 PM
Yep- when new people come around, they are , initially, confused when I ask my son where his brother is...

Here's my son's brother...

http://s267.photobucket.com/albums/ii300/KrystalLR/th_Joey1.jpgDon't feel bad my youngest stepson refered to my two beloved departed cats as his brother and sister when he was little--I'm bad--not

CaroGirl
08-25-2008, 11:15 PM
I was forced to vote eggplant on this one. When we first acquired our puppies, we doted on them like they were children. We brushed them before dinner parties (like anyone else cared) and talked about their antics incessantly.

Then I gave birth to actual babies of the human persuasion and I had no mental or physical energy left to devote to the dogs at the end of the day. The dogs were as demanding as ever and I, with a toddler and a newborn by this time, was stretched to the breaking point. I would love to feel about my dogs the way I felt about them when they were puppies but I haven't got it in me. I care for them but they definitely don't hold the place of my "children".

Shadow_Ferret
08-25-2008, 11:15 PM
Depends on the pets, actually, I had a couple ferrets that were superintelligent and we have the run of our house. They were like our children. Other ferrets were dumb as rocks and we never thought of them that way. Our cat was never considered one of the family. Our two dogs,however, we refer to ourselves as their mommy and daddy.

In fact, last night our 8-year-old was getting mad because we kept calling them furhumans and he's like, "No, they're dogs!"

Pagey's_Girl
08-25-2008, 11:18 PM
Very much family. People ask me if I have kids and I tell them I have parakeets instead. :)

Tink
08-25-2008, 11:24 PM
I have never had any children of my own except for my four-legged babies. I got a miniture collie mixed when I was 18 and had her for right at 18 yrs. She was my heart. I have two males now. One just showed up here at my house a few yrs. ago and we sort of adopted each other and the other was given to me about four yrs. ago and I am their Momma. :)

DeleyanLee
08-25-2008, 11:46 PM
While I totally agree that they're members of the family (all 5 of them), the cats & dogs are NOT my children and I've never felt that way about them. They are like best friends, heart-kin, (furry) people that I love as family. However, my responsibility to them is not the same as any of my human relations, so I can't really think of them as anything but "pet".

But "pet" is still an important part of the family.

Shadow_Ferret
08-25-2008, 11:49 PM
Well, when I was a kid I had a different perspective. My dog was my best friend. He was there for me all the time. When I had a bad day, he was there to hear me vent. When my girl friend dumped me, he was there to comiserate. When I was happy, he was there to enjoy it. When I yelled at him, he dropped a large rawhide on my head as I walked downstairs.

We were inseparable.

Clair Dickson
08-26-2008, 12:02 AM
I'm currently pet-less, but I grew up with a litter of kittens. No, seriously. Two litters actually, a couple years apart. Anyway-- I still relegate my cats to animal status. No pet funerals (it was hard enough that they died, I'm not going to stand over a shovel-hole in the ground.)

But my cats were always better than my family. They never protested when I wanted company (surprisingly!), they were always happy to see me, and they never told me I didn't know what I was doing.

DL Hegel
08-26-2008, 12:13 AM
Well, when I was a kid I had a different perspective. My dog was my best friend. He was there for me all the time. When I had a bad day, he was there to hear me vent. When my girl friend dumped me, he was there to comiserate. When I was happy, he was there to enjoy it. When I yelled at him, he dropped a large rawhide on my head as I walked downstairs.

We were inseparable.
I had a cat that turned on and off lights and the tv--never when i wanted--her favorite tv programs were Star Trek TNG(she chased the enterprise across the screen with her paws) and she liked hockey(she chased the puck with her paws)We would watch these shows together.I can never see a klingon without thinking of her or hockey game:)

Shadow_Ferret
08-26-2008, 12:15 AM
My dog is a pain in the butt when it comes to TV. Any doorbell on a show and he starts barking and we're yelling, "It's Spongebob! There's no one at the door." And I've had to forgo Animal Cops and The Dog Whisperer because anytime those dogs start barking, mine does to. When is he going to learn that "It's on TV!" means it's not real?

Haggis
08-26-2008, 12:21 AM
Well, when I was a kid I had a different perspective. My dog was my best friend. He was there for me all the time. When I had a bad day, he was there to hear me vent. When my girl friend dumped me, he was there to comiserate. When I was happy, he was there to enjoy it. When I yelled at him, he dropped a large rawhide on my head as I walked downstairs.



That explains a lot.

I am currently between dogs, and will probably remain that way--at least for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, we do have two office dogs at work, so I can get all the benefits without all the responsibility (or the cost).

I love dogs, but they ain't people. And cats? Well, I won't even go there.

DL Hegel
08-26-2008, 12:25 AM
That explains a lot.

I am currently between dogs, and will probably remain that way--at least for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, we do have two office dogs at work, so I can get all the benefits without all the responsibility (or the cost).

I love dogs, but they ain't people. And cats? Well, I won't even go there.
and what about cats?

Shadow_Ferret
08-26-2008, 12:28 AM
I love dogs, but they ain't people.
They're better than peoples.

joyce
08-26-2008, 12:30 AM
When I was growing up my dog was my best friend. After I had a child, the dog was a friend/child to me. Now that my daughter has left for college, the dogs are reaping all the rewards of having a mentally unstable mother. They are spoiled to the bone! I figure they've earned it. They always love me no matter what I do or look like. They are always beyond happy to see me and as stated earlier, they never tell me I'm wrong. They also go out of their way to make me feel protected and loved.

Haggis
08-26-2008, 12:35 AM
They're better than peoples.

Given most of the dogs I've known and some of the people I've known, it's hard to disagree with you.

sheadakota
08-26-2008, 12:44 AM
I lurvs my dogs and my cats and my horses. I still grieve over the loss of my 14 yr old dog last August, They are most defintely part of my family, but they are not my children- I love them as much, but I didn't go birthin' no puppy!

Pagey's_Girl
08-26-2008, 12:49 AM
My dog is a pain in the butt when it comes to TV. Any doorbell on a show and he starts barking and we're yelling, "It's Spongebob! There's no one at the door." And I've had to forgo Animal Cops and The Dog Whisperer because anytime those dogs start barking, mine does to. When is he going to learn that "It's on TV!" means it's not real?

About ten years ago, I adopted an elderly gray-cheek parakeet who'd been taken from the wild as a baby. (They don't do that any more, which is good.) Well, one night there was a National Geographic special about creatures of Central America on, and one of the creatures they showcased was the harpy eagle - in the wild, a perrot's worst nightmare. They showed one of those ugly things flying right at the camera - and Jessie freaked. Screaming and thrashing and trying to get out of her cage before it got her. Poor baby. I took her out to try to calm her down, and she was absolutely shaking. She was upset the rest of the night.

She knew what that thing was...

shawkins
08-26-2008, 01:10 AM
They're better than peoples.

Yeah, I prefer almost all dogs to almost all people.

Haggis
08-26-2008, 01:24 AM
and what about cats?

They're good on rye with some hot mustard and a Kosher pickle.

Southern_girl29
08-26-2008, 03:37 AM
I love my dogs as much as I love some of my family, more than some and less than others. It depends on who it is. I had one dog that felt like a brother to me. I was born in August, and we got him in September. He lived until I was a senior in high school. I mourned that dog for ages.

We now have Rosie,a shih tzu. She's great and has the patience of a saint. Before her, we had a German Shepherd named Radar who was also great.

DL Hegel
08-26-2008, 04:09 AM
They're good on rye with some hot mustard and a Kosher pickle.
I like my haggis with horseraddish

Duncan J Macdonald
08-26-2008, 04:14 AM
I like my haggis with horseraddish
Kills the taste, though.

Ol' 61
08-26-2008, 04:15 AM
Our dog is our third son, no question. And because he's the "baby," he gets to sleep with Mama (me). Poor Dad. :(

Jaycinth
08-26-2008, 04:53 AM
Pets are people-ish. I recognize the birthdays of some of my frineds pets, and Christmas too.

My cats..well...Clyde Jaymes is a devout Calvinist and as such, somewhat curmudgeonly, not to mention pedantic. He's more like the strict uncle who doesn't approve of anything...who is forced to live with you because of some perrverse twist of fate.

My other cat..Boots...is...well....imagine if you were the parent of quadruplets....and they grew up to be 'The Who'.

My kids...they treat Boots like a slightly 'simple' little brother...complete with dressing him up and getting him to chase sticks.

Clyde elicits respect.

SRSLY...you do not want to wake up at three AM with this cat sitting on your chest, his yellow eyes glowing...while he quotes scripture.

SRSLY!

Unique
08-26-2008, 04:58 AM
With family, you talk about unconditional love...but with the
cats - you actually get it.

The cats mind better, too. I don't know why that is but it is so.

Donkey
08-26-2008, 05:12 AM
I love my dog. My family?..............Meh.

TerzaRima
08-26-2008, 06:47 AM
Somewhere along the line, Mr Rima and I turned into the nutbar aunt and uncle who sign the pets' names to the Christmas card. We didn't plan it, we just got a little crazier every day and then it was too late. I once wrote Mr Rima a plaintive country western ballad about our basset hound. We talk about going "walkies". I have approximately 5874 adorable images of every four footed moment on my hard drive. We crazy.

KC Sunshine
08-26-2008, 07:15 AM
My pug Tubs is the best friend I could ever have. Dogs are one of the greatest gifts we are given in this life.

SherryTex
08-26-2008, 04:13 PM
Jay, you have at least four humor columns in those comments...the Calvanist cat is still killing me.

I don't mind dogs, I'm allergic to cats but have known some that I considered very cool for whom, I was willing to take a daily dose of benadryl and who hadn't sold out their cattiness in the process. (Graduate school, black angora named Shoe) --sounds like a Johnny Cash song).

We grew up with big black labs and I loved two of the three we had...the first Midnight was perfect. She was the runt of a litter but had a fierce heart. She regularly houdinied her way out of every cage and dog run ever built to contain her. She would pedal out to us in the ocean when we got too deep for her comfort, allowing my then pregnant mother not to have to come in to get us. She was awesome.

Penny was an abused dog and took longer to learn to love. She would shy away if you raised your hand above your shoulder or quiver at loud noises. But over the years, we came to love her as a very gentle soul. She got us more than we got her.

ajkjd01
08-26-2008, 04:21 PM
My cat (in my avatar) is Elizabeth Cady.

She is my baby, my fuzzy child.

No, I don't have children of my own, and I can see how that might change things, but if I have extra cash, my fuzzy girl benefits. I've spent more on vet bills for her than for doctor's appointments for myself this year. The running joke is that she isn't my muse, she's my furry minion.

Kitrianna
08-26-2008, 06:47 PM
I once heard it said that dogs are like children with fur coats. If such is the case and I do believe that, then my kittens are teenagers with fur coats. Cats has much bigger attitudes. I am but their humble servant, here to take care of all their earthly needs. Help me!

Grrarrgh
08-26-2008, 10:47 PM
I called my mother this weekend to see if she wanted to go see an exhibit at the museum and she called me back to a half an hour later to tell me that she couldn't go because she couldn't find anyone to babysit her dog.

The dog's not sick, not hurt, not in anyway needing supervision, she just "really, really hates to be alone".

CaroGirl
08-26-2008, 11:02 PM
I called my mother this weekend to see if she wanted to go see an exhibit at the museum and she called me back to a half an hour later to tell me that she couldn't go because she couldn't find anyone to babysit her dog.

The dog's not sick, not hurt, not in anyway needing supervision, she just "really, really hates to be alone".
Oh dear. That's kind of sad, both for the dog and the owner. Dogs are pack animals by nature and, if you plan to own only one at a time, they need to be trained to be alone, either through crate training or desensitization. Letting a dog suffer separation anxiety because you don't know how to train it is a bit of a shame. Either the dog suffers every time the owner walks out the door, or the owner suffers because she can never walk out the door without the dog.

Grrarrgh
08-26-2008, 11:10 PM
Oh dear. That's kind of sad, both for the dog and the owner. Dogs are pack animals by nature and, if you plan to own only one at a time, they need to be trained to be alone, either through crate training or desensitization. Letting a dog suffer separation anxiety because you don't know how to train it is a bit of a shame. Either the dog suffers every time the owner walks out the door, or the owner suffers because she can never walk out the door without the dog.

It's pretty disturbing. The dog is one of those mini Yorkie terriers that weighs about 7 pounds and my mom won't leave the house without her. I don't even like to have her come over, because she always brings the dog. Then she spends the entire time talking to me through the dog in a baby voice. "What do you think, Jello, do we want more Pepsi right now? We do?!?! Ok, Heather, we'll have some more Pepsi!!"

Yes, the dog's name is Jello, because, and I quote, "There's always room for Jello".

CaroGirl
08-26-2008, 11:17 PM
It's pretty disturbing. The dog is one of those mini Yorkie terriers that weighs about 7 pounds and my mom won't leave the house without her. I don't even like to have her come over, because she always brings the dog. Then she spends the entire time talking to me through the dog in a baby voice. "What do you think, Jello, do we want more Pepsi right now? We do?!?! Ok, Heather, we'll have some more Pepsi!!"

Yes, the dog's name is Jello, because, and I quote, "There's always room for Jello".
Well, if I'd been drinking Pepsi while I read that post you'd owe me a new keyboard! That's disturbing yet hysterical.

My father-in-law's a bit like that with his dog. He loves that thing so much it's unnatural. I think he'd marry it if he could (although my MIL might have something to say about it). I haven't exactly bonded with "Scooter" (yes, that's its name). I call her Cujo because every time I go over there it skids down the hallway at me like a rabid raccoon, growling, snarling and spitting. I fear I might lose a finger one of these days.

Robert Toy
08-26-2008, 11:23 PM
Kills the taste, though.
The haggis or horseradish?

czjaba
08-26-2008, 11:39 PM
When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, a dear friend asked the one question that became the object of my nightmares. He asked, "What if the new baby will be allergic to the fuzzy baby?" I was literally sick from this question. We had the fuzzy baby - a pomeranian- for about 5 years before, so there was no way we intended on giving her up for any reason. We even went so far as to figure out how to keep the 2 babies separated if need be. Luckily, she wasn't allergic and the fuzzy baby wasn't jealous. When we brought the baby home for the very first time, we put her carrier in the middle of the living room floor and Hubby and I both sat on the couch and played with the fuzzy baby just like we always did. When my daughter started talking, my mom chastised me for her calling the fuzzy baby her sister. But we called her that...

Now we have 3 fuzzy babies and 2 human girls and we keep them all in the house. We keep the pets outside -- birds, tarantula, iguana, fish in the little pond, etc. I never know what kind of 'new pet' I'll come home to.

DL Hegel
08-26-2008, 11:51 PM
I love animals and animal stories--


here's another one from me

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2689170#post2689170
(http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2689170#post2689170)

sassandgroove
08-27-2008, 12:08 AM
I voted yesterday but didn't have time to post.

I love my dog- more than I expected I would. I call her my baby dog. But I am aware she is a dog and try to treat her as a dog. She is pampered - we don't have children and we channel some of that parental energy into her, but we endeavor to be good to her and let her be a dog. We crate trained her, we worked to prevent seperation anxiety, we trained her to sit and to stay and to wait until we say ok when we put her food down, stuff like that. I walk her almost daily (i'm not perfect).

I agree with some of the other posts here, I see her more as a companion that I love than 'my baby'. Even though I call her that, you'll note it's 'baby dog' not just 'baby.'

Though I have, when my mom or mom-in-law bug me about having a baby, told them their grandbaby is in the yard barking, but that was more as a defense. ;)

DL Hegel
08-27-2008, 10:18 PM
As a child I had a dog that looked like a little fox crossed with a collie. He was super smart and constant companion. He knew all kinds of tricks--his best was dancing all around on his hind legs--I have never seen a dog who looked like him. Never did figure out what kind of dog he was.

crazynance
08-27-2008, 10:32 PM
Some animals definitely don't seem to have that spark - that special connection. Other animals can actually connect with almost everyone. our main street had a cat that was loved by all.
Seriously, it even moved in with a cat-hater. you couldn't say no to this guy, he had the touch.
When I was young, we had some beagles who never connected with us. We also had a black lab who was wonderful: she was lovely and goofy and loved us.
Currently, I have [read here: live with] a lab/shep/collie cross. He is about 7 or 8 now, but he previously lived with jerks who were not nice to him. It took a long time to convince him that we don't beat our dog, or kick them down the stairs, or tie their mouths shut with barbed wire when they do that piercing whiny barking thing... and he appreciates the fact that I am really good with a can opener! haha.
He knows he is not the alpha, but he knows he is important too. But I am not the alpha either, and I'm okay with that. He protects me because I have can-opener skillz.. mad skillz! and because I 'belong' to his daddy... the Alpha of our pack. My dog thinks we get by pretty good for 2 leggers.

DL Hegel
08-30-2008, 01:39 AM
Saturday is the last day of the poll so get your votes in:)
post your best critter stories here:)

Deccydiva
08-30-2008, 02:31 AM
I have no family so the dogs are all I've got. From my memory of family life though, I feel I have the better deal now.:)

benbradley
08-30-2008, 02:46 AM
I voted for all options EXCEPT:
Yes--I like them as much as my family

We have some big dogs outside. I live in a house with my brother and sister-in-law. She has a little in-the-house dog, and four ferrets. Most mornings I go to the ferret cage, open the door and grab the one that first comes to the door and hold it in my hands for a couple minutes, or until it gets a little too feisty to stay in my hands. I think they're calmer with me than anyone else. A previous housemate had many cats and dogs that I enjoyed, and when I sat down to watch TV at least one cat would crawl into my lap. She called me "Doctor Doolitle."

Maybe someday I'll find one or more people I get along with as well as I do with animals, but I'm not holding my breath.