An Associated Press-Petside.com poll released Tuesday found that half of all American pet owners consider their pets as much a part of the family as any other person in the household. Um…what? As far as I can see, that is messed up. Really. Think about it. I know you love your pet. You would do anything for your pet. But value it as much as any other person in your household? That’s just not right.
Hey, I had pets. I was one of those artsy single chicks with cats and I loved my animals. I remember scrounging up money for an EKG for Henry who we later learned had a bad heart condition. He also needed Prozac towards the end of his life (well how would you feel being a young virile male and knowing your life would soon come to a premature end?) And then there was the chemo we forked over for Katie. Martini, my dog, needed intensive psychological attention, home-made organic food, and a personal trainer to keep him sane and fit. I’m no stranger to loving your animals and treating them like members of the fam.
But when push comes to shove, please tell me all those people polled don’t actually consider their pets to be as important as their spouse or children. I mean the poll does say that more singles see their pets as family members than married folk. I guess that’s slightly comforting. The thing is, they’re still animals. I don’t get how people can overlook that rather obvious fact
The poll also said that most pet owners feed their animals human food, nearly half give their animals human names and almost a third let them sleep in a human bed. Can you say reality check? Listen, in many ways I’d love to have a pet. But I can barely manage a husband and two little boys. Sure, there’s a certain appeal to having an animal. They’re almost always kind, on your side, sympathetic. They don’t demand nearly as much attention as your children, and they don’t talk back. Big plus. But I implore you to remember that a pet is a pet and your family members (at least most of them) are humans. So in the event of a fire (or an earthquake if you’re still living in CA), let’s all consent to saving our offspring before venturing back into the flames for Fluffy. Agreed?