Animal Loving Rant

We met up with a group of friends today at the carnival and we had lunch together. During the lunch one of my friends expressed worries that she had to have a 2 night stay in hospital for a minor procedure next week and was having trouble finding a sitter for her cute little Westie. She didn’t want to put him in a kennels. I asked what she needed, as in did she need someone to move in with him, would he stay with someone else, did he just need a pop in for walking and feeding?

All of my pet owning friends laughed when I asked and made comments about the unlikelihood of me being able to help. I was a pit peed off to be honest, but laughed and held up my hands and said “OK so forget me as an option then”. Although it was said in a light hearted manner it wasn’t felt in one and I couldn’t help but be amazed that my offer had been so flippantly dismissed. By the end of the meal she was still worrying about finding suitable support with the poochy problem, which I could undoubtedly have helped with.

I don’t have any pets.

Years ago I had a dog but when I moved to the city I had to rehome him.

As a child we had all manner of pets (no dogs allowed simply because my mother was terrified of them having been attacked by one as a small child) but we had a cat, rabbits, a goat, chickens, guinea pigs, budgies, chipmunks a chinchilla…

My daughter’s never been keen on animals, a neighbour in London had a dog which she adored but other than that she’s never been keen, perhaps because she’s never been brought up around them. I had a cat before I got married but my husband was allergic to him and I had to let my former flat mate keep him when I moved on.

My son desperately loves fluffy cute things and asked for a puppy for years and years but when he was reminded that puppies needed caring for he’d lose interest.

So many of my friends comment on me being a ‘non animal friendly’ person, almost like it’s a disease I have, something which excludes me from a special circle that I’m not supposed to understand and don’t deserve a place in. I’ve even had comments which suggest I hate animals and have no compassion… so far from the truth. I would let my friends without children baby sit for me, I wouldn’t have a problem with it at all.

The truth is I feel it is uncaring to have an animal and leave it stuck locked in an empty house all day while we are away doing our thing at school or work. I have no time to devote to taking care of and being a companion to a pet. I have friends who talk about how their pet is their companion but they don’t seem to understand that they are also the pet’s companion, the only companion. The pet doesn’t get to go out and socialise or chat with people at work it sits dutifully waiting and waiting and watching for its companion to come and give it a couple of minutes of their time.

To me that’s not fair, that’s not kind and I can’t do that. I wouldn’t do it to a child and I appreciate that some of them have chosen not to have children because they just didn’t feel they could commit the necessary time and effort to the parental role or that they were suitably equipped to be a parent and I don’t classify them as child haters yet I get this label, the stigma of being pet-less.

I’d love to have a little pooch to take for walks and to snuggle up to on an evening but that would be to serve my needs, for a good 80% of the week it would be sitting alone in an empty house maybe with a radio as background noise, how soul destroying is that? Then when I am at home for at least 60% of the time I would be too busy to give it any attention. Would that be fair?

Sometimes we’re too quick to judge people and to make assumptions regarding their life choices and have no idea that what we may see as a failing on their part might actually be a sacrifice they consciously made.

I’m not still upset about it, I’m befuddled by it and I felt like calling my friend and explaining that I do have some dog handling experience and repeating my offer to help but thought better of it. Stuff her… now where did I put that understanding, let it all wash over me, forgiving hat.

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2 thoughts on “Animal Loving Rant”

    1. It’s happened before, I’m kind of cast as the animal catcher equivalent of the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang… I don’t have a pet so for some reason it means I hate animals, it’s a good job I don’t think like that about my friends who don’t have children… mind you they do openly say they can’t stand kids, if I said the same about dogs I’d be outcast for sure. Sometimes friends can test us, it’s just this one thing, otherwise I’m ‘normal’.

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