Bridging the Divided

Pets Are Family…..

“My dog is not my pet. My dog is family” Charlie Brown

There is a ton of wisdom to be gleaned from the characters who lived in the mind of Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip. Charlie Brown may be a loser in his own eyes but in the eyes of Snoopy, Charlie was the bomb. 

Dogs are family, and if you don’t agree, you haven’t fully opened your heart to a dog’s love. Looking into the eyes of a dog, truly looking into their eyes we can see their soul; a soul that loves completely, without condition, a soul who believes only the best in us. Charlie Brown’s best moments were shared with Snoopy. The cacophony of a world who judged harshly was left behind and the only opinion that mattered was Snoopy’s. We all have days when people are rude, harsh, judgmental. Some weeks are just one long Monday. Somehow our dogs just know and they set about their work of making it all better; they lick the tears and worry from our faces, curl up alongside, and send love vibes our way. Somehow, someway, the miracle of dog kisses is that we do feel better.  In the words of Charlie Brown, “Life is better with a dog”.

Dogs are family, we hear it all the time on TV, read it in magazines, and articles, and from the people in our lives. There are statistics used by pet product companies claiming 90% of people consider their pets part of the family and most of us would nod our heads in agreement, however, a bit of information from a survey revealed snake owners are more likely than dog and cat owners to consider their snakes as part of the family. Tilt…..

I mean it when I say our dogs are part of our family. They sleep with us, I let them out in the morning to potty before I use the bathroom, I feed them before I eat, and am more likely to take them to the vet than I am to make an appointment for myself when I am sick. We have spent literally thousands on our dogs and don’t regret a penny. Crazy? Likely. 

Sadly, ‘dogs are part of the family’ is a relative statement. Not all dogs are treated equally as members of a family. We have all heard stories about people who have left their dogs when they moved out of a house or apartment, thrown puppies in a dumpster or had dogs euthanized when they became too much of a burden. We cannot assume everyone who says their dog or pet is family cares for them in the same way we do. If you say it, mean it. Being a fur parent is for life, not until it becomes inconvenient.

Christmas is less than 2 weeks away. If you are considering getting an animal as a gift for someone please make certain you or they are in for the long haul. Few things are cuter than a puppy or kitten on Christmas morning but understand that puppy or kitten is dependent upon you. It did not choose you, you chose it and with choice comes responsibility…..

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