If I see one more person post on Facebook that dogs (or animals in general) are “better than people” I just might . . . OK, I won’t go there.
I don’t know what it is or when it started, but I’ve been on the planet for a long time and I don’t remember all this animal worship going on when I was younger. People had pets, sure, and they loved their pets, but I never heard anyone say they were better than people. And the pet owners who dressed up their dogs or cats or had them buried in pet cemeteries were considered, well, just weird.
Don’t get me wrong—I look at cute kitty and puppy photos online just like everybody else. But I don’t worship animals any more than I worship people. Worshiping is for God, a greater power, the Eternal, or whatever you might want to call the creator of the universe.
I admit that I’m not a pet person. I’ve had pets in the past—quite a few, in fact. But I was never really a pet person. When I was a kid, it was my mother’s idea to get a dog. He turned out to be totally neurotic and his favorite pastime was killing our cats (we had a bunch of cats). I’m not saying all dogs are as weird as he was, but for me, who didn’t really want a dog in the first place, he was pretty strange.
Later on, after I had kids, they wanted a cat, so we got one. The cat would run up on the roof and meow until we had to call the fire department. Then we got birds. I actually liked the birds, even though one of them shredded my paycheck to make a nest.
To me there’s a big difference between an animal and a person. I’ve seen people on Facebook attributing all kinds of human qualities to animals. For instance, they think that their dogs smile. Dogs don’t smile—they just look like they’re smiling.
I live alone, and several friends have suggested that I get a dog or a cat. My reply is: been there, done that. Having a pet is like having a kid (done that, too)—it’s a huge responsibility, and one that I simply don’t want to take on at this point in my life. Why is that so hard for some people to understand?
Anyway, I’m convinced that something has changed over the years. People really didn’t worship their pets or think they were better than people when I was growing up, unless I missed something. And I have to admit that I cringe when I see photos of very small babies snuggling up with dogs. Fine, as long as you’re there with the camera, watching. But there have been too many cases of dogs just flipping out and attacking children for me to feel comfortable with that. And it’s not always the owner’s fault—we’re talking about animals, here, folks. They’re animals, and they have animal instincts. These may not become apparent at all with certain pets, who have gentle personalities. On the other hand, I’ve read about cases where the owner swore that the dog was sweet and harmless, but suddenly attacked someone out of the blue.
I’m just talking common sense here, but I think when it comes to pets, some people are losing their common sense and refuse to believe that their cat or dog is anything but perfect. What I find completely ironic is that a lot of these same people don’t give a second thought to sitting down to a steak dinner. I’m not judging them for eating meat, because I’m a failed vegan myself, but it somehow just doesn’t add up. Love your pets, but please don’t think they’re better than people—they’re not. And if you think they are, maybe you’ve been hanging out with the wrong people!