My pets are my children

By Dann Alexander 

I’ve been surrounded by animals all my life. I was born into a family where we had a beagle dog. From as long as I can remember, I have shown a tremendous sensitivity to animals and their well-being. To me, pets are members of the family and should be treated as such.

I well up with rage at any stories of neglect and abuse of animals. Admittedly, my sensitivity level is significantly higher when it comes to animals more than stories of child abuse. As equally horrible as child abuse is, I’ve had significant difficulty in overcoming the sadness more from the animal abuse stories.

In turn, I actively promote animal rescue more than any other personal cause. Occasionally, there will be times when I might promote something that relates to a non-animal cause. Those instances are somewhat rare.

Any pets that have been in the places where I lived, I called them my kids. As of this writing, I am a proud pet-parent of five kids. Sometimes I feel like I am just as busy as a parent of human kids. It’s a reminder of how grateful I am that I made the decisions I made.

Like having human kids, having fur-kids is a significant commitment. Granted, the fur-kids have much shorter life spans than that of humans. Still, in most instances, a pet-parent makes the choice of having fur-kids knowing the commitments involved. They know that like having human children, there are costs involved in providing the necessities of life.

Even on the busiest of days when they might be a bit trying of my patience, I continue to love the kids more and more. They are part of the family. A complete family photo would need to include all of them. Because they remind me of the choice I made not to have human children.

I’m reminded of how incredible a bond I have with the kids because they depend on me. Sometimes I depend on them because they do give me another purpose. The role of pet-parent is one I take very seriously and is something I give full effort to. Being a pet-dad continues to shape me positively as a person, and make me all the more better in all areas of my life.

Are you a pet-parent? If so, do you refer to your pets as your children or “fur-kids”? Are you subject to criticism as a result? Share your story in the comment section.

Based just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, Dann Alexander is the Author of Planned UnParenthood – Creating a Life Without Procreating which is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Twitter @WriterDann

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