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Monday, May 21, 2012

Children and Pets are Not the Same

As most of my subscribers are aware I am the proud father of two wonderful children. Now recently a friend suggested to me that having pets was somehow synonymous with having offspring! I realized that I've actually heard people say this before, and it also dawned on me that most of these people actually believe what their tongue is suggesting, unaware that if ones tongue could cross its fingers when telling a fib, it would certainly be doing so at the mere suggestion that a Human Child is even remotely anything like a four legged subservient creature that can double up as a mega-city for fleas and would prefer to use it's mouth when washing it's.... well, you get the point.

 Nevertheless I still feel compelled to now take you on a journey to explain the spleen bursting absurdity of that belief. Please note these comparisons are for "normal" otherwise responsible pet owners and parents.

 The last time I checked pets can be obtained from a pet shop, an ad in the news paper or by catching them with a net in a pond. Legitimately speaking children can not. No level of intimacy is required for obtaining a pet except the affection I feel for my wallet; children on the other hand require the co-operation of 2 people, sometimes a doctor or in extreme cases an adoption agency after rigorous background checks that can be quite painful and time consuming. Come to think of it one can obtain a pet whenever they want to, children on the other hand come either when you don't necessarily desire one or don't come when you emphatically do desire one. Children and Pets - are not the same.

 Once you own a pet its entirely up to you whether you keep it. Should your cat or dog for example develop a personality not suited to the tranquility of your home you can a) give it away, b) sell it or c) eat it (provided it is actually edible or you belong to an ethnicity that enjoys the meat of that particular entity) and society won't frown on you as long as you have a respectable excuse like, "My job's hours were too much and it wasn't fair to keep him/her at home with no company so, although it was a painful decision I had to give it away" or, "I was made redundant and my personal debt was making it impossible for me to even afford food, so although it was painful, I had it slaughtered and now I have enough meat o get me through till June, but at least he will always be a part of me this way." As long as you have a similar good excuse most of your friends will nod in agreement and even applaud you for doing the right thing. With children on the other hand, as soon as their personality becomes apparent, and the moment you realize certain aspects of their individuality conflict with your own - none of the above options are open to you without definite consequences. You can not give your child away, sell it or even eat it without your friends and family directly or indirectly ostracized you to some degree. Children and Pets - are not the same.

 Moving on most animals we keep as pets such as dogs and cats will be cared for by their own mother until they can walk and eat solids. This generally takes a few weeks. From here on whenever your dog gets hungry you have the following options - pour some food into its bowl, throw something at it or put the animal outside and promptly forget about it. You will/should never have to carry your pet around with you for several hours a day (unless it is a torso only pet which as far as I know does not exist) because you will never have to teach your pet how to walk. You will/should never have to breast feed your pet on demand and should your pet demand it, again you can throw it outside or consider having it put down. You can not put your child outside and you can not have it put down. Children and Pets - are not the same.

 Your pet will have accidents on your floor but will generally learn to "go outside" or "use the litter tray" within its first year, and should it fail you can rub its nose in it and say, "Bad Dog" or "You stupid cat!". Your child however will leave its waste in plastic pants called "diapers" for you to personally deal with yourself - daily, for the first 2-3 years of its life. When he/she has an accident you are not free to rub their nose in it and say, "Bad Dog!" or "You stupid cat!" because this will make you a bad parent, robbing your child of their confidence, prolonging the time required for potty training and leaving them with scars that will never heal but will find their way onto a psychologists couch when they reveal the reason they have never succeeded in life is because you treated them like an wretched naughty animal. Not to mention you will be personally responsible for the cost of their therapy. Children and Pets - are not the same.

 Come to think of it your pets will NEVER have to have therapy, because your pet will never hate you. Actually your pet will never love you either. As far as your pet is concerned you are the other entity in the house who can scratch its hard to reach places and tell it to "sit" for the occasional treat. Your child on the other hand starts life loving you more than anything else in the world, but their continued love is anything but guaranteed, as you will have to tread the tight rope of the next 18 years of his/her life, ever so carefully and strategically, in order to retain that love, knowing that at any point you could make even the most subtle of mistakes to mar them for life and cause them to hate you or distrust you for a very long time if not forever. Your dog on the other hand will still want to lick your face after you given her puppies away. Children and Pets - are not the same.

 By the time your dog is 1 year old it has already lived the equivalent of 7 human years. Put into perspective your dog will be a baby for 1.7 months. It will be a toddler for 3.4 months, a preschooler for 3.4 months. By the time your dog is old enough to be a teenager it will only have been alive for approximately 20 months and within 3 years, were it a human being it would be old enough to receive a 21st key and the suggestion that maybe it should leave home. Your child however will be a baby for one whole year. It will be a toddler for 2 additional years and a preschooler for 2 more years. He or she will be considered a child and in need of constant adult supervision for 14 years and will be an absolutely abominable concoction of rogue hormones, tantrums and acne for the next 8 years, and will not be a proper adult until some time after the first 25 years of his/her life. At no point in that 25 years do you stop being responsible for their actions or caring for their hardships or wishing that you could just put them in a box and leave them there until they just grow up or stop asking you for money. At least there are times you are allowed to put an animal into a box. Children and Pets - are not the same.

 Your cat will never grow up to be the next Einstein, Mozart or Mother Teresa  Conversely your dog will never grow up to be the next Hitler, Mussolini or Dr Phil. And whether they become one extreme or the other entirely depends on your parenting. The pressure is entirely on you to make sure your children become good functional and upright citizens of society. Your dog however will die within 12 -14 years and no one will care. Children and Pets - are not the same.

 If a cat gets run over it is put into a plastic rubbish bag or box and buried under a tree in your backyard. No one has to be notified. No prayers said. And while you may be sad for a few weeks you will get over it and eventually buy another one and call it "Lucky 2", hoping that this time round he/she will have better luck. At the same time you might be the only person in your household who actually liked that cat and discover to your horror that some family members are actually relieved or even happy that that miserable filthy feline is finally fertilizing your lemon tree. Your neighbor might have even run over your cat on purpose. You will never, however, put your child into a clean sack and bury them in the backyard, why - BECAUSE CHILDREN ARE NOT THE SAME AS PETS! You will never get over it and you will never find a single family member who is happy about the departure, and you will never ever give a child a name like "Lucky!" No, children and Pets - are not the same.

 Your pet will never wake you up at 3 in the morning to tell you its had a nightmare or that there is a monster under their bed and you will never have to sing it a lullaby or sleep on the floor next to it until it calms down - unless of course you are a complete weirdo.

 If your dog eats its vomit you encourage it to do so because you don't want to clean it up yourself. If your child tried to eat its vomit you would have a sort of panicked frenzy of a fit before possibly vomiting yourself.

 You will never have to stop your pet from sticking things into power sockets, from eating dead flies or say things like, "Get that finger out of your nose". You will say at least one of those things at least three times in one day to your child.

 If someone offered me a thousand dollars for my cat - I would give them my cat.

 If someone offered me a thousand dollars for my kid - I would call the police!

 Your dog will never vomit in your face. Your child probably will.

 Your pet will never sit on your lap and while having a cuddle suddenly look at you with the intensity of someone who is creating world war three in their nappy!

 You will never ever have to suck the mucous out of your dogs nose but your child's.... Well, that's something I've had to do at least once before...

Finally consider this scenario: You die in your house with no company but your pet. Eventually your pet will eat you. Your child will not. Why? BECAUSE CHILDREN ARE NOT THE SAME AS PETS!


  1. Replies
    1. Hey thanks, you're probably the first real person to comment on one of my blogs In many months:) thanks for visiting!


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