No, your dog is not “your child.” Keeping a pet, you are a steward of another lifeform. Such pets as dogs and cats, however, come with clear sets of do’s and don’ts. You can fool yourself about selfless time spent caring for them, but such frivolity involves very little self-sacrifice, and even less personal risk.
Raising a human child necessitates a complete and persistent internal evaluation of your values, habits, and ability to love another unconditionally; this while allowing the child to grow and adopt her own values, habits, and ability to love. None of this comes with any guarantee of an obvious “reward.” You must therefore understand the value of reliving the discoveries of life with your child.
Often, I hear others loudly proclaim how expensive having a child is, and how they value their freedom to pursue their happiness by choosing not to have human children. “This is my child,” they say, proudly stroking their furry companion. Their proclaimed pursuit of happiness seems to involve short-term hedonistic pursuits that present few intellectual and spiritual challenges. They are satisfied that a superficial tail wag is “love” affirming their role as a “parent” as they drunkenly swipe through their vacation photos.
I shudder to think how this “dog is my child” bodes for future generations of humans as this pseudo-parent lifestyle becomes more overtly affirmed by others who share this “dog-as-child” philosophy, and who actually express sympathy for those who have chosen to perpetuate the human species. This absurd viewpoint saddens me. They have been fooled by themselves and the tainted zeitgeist.
These self-proclaimed parents are perpetual Dog Children. Beware their tail wag.
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