Monday, May 23, 2011

8 Things Friends Don't Understand About My Relationship With My Pets

The writer of this article, Amy D. Shojai, obviously share the same thoughts with yours truly (;

Teaching Lowy "Paw-symphony No.9" (;

How can I not love them? They're so smart, adorable and uebercute!
Napping with Chewy

We love to talk about our cats and dogs, show off cute pictures and brag how smart and clever our pets are. Even when we complain about stepping barefoot on nasty hairballs or cleaning up puppy potty accidents, we do so with affection. But unless friends share our furry passion, dog and cat conversations often raise eyebrows or spark disbelief about our pet devotion. Here are eight things friends often don't "get" about our relationship with our cats and dogs.
1. No matter what, dogs have to be walked. And though it may seem annoying to friends who want to party, a pet's toilet needs trump a never-ending night on the town. Petless friends don't understand that walking the dog can't wait.

2. Grooming is a health issue and a household necessity. Friends roll their eyes at talk of the poodle salon, kitty lion cuts and doggie sweaters because they don't understand that grooming isn't a luxury, it's a requirement. Keeping fur in good shape prevents painful matting, skin irritation and parasites. Brushing keeps fur off furniture. Sweaters protect dogs' nether regions from freezing. Hair bows and nail polish? Well, they are simply value added.

3. My pets may not like you -- and that's fine. Sometimes the people and the animals we love have bad chemistry and don't get along. I hope you like each other, but it's enough that my dog and cat love me and that you love me. And I understand if you don't love my pets.

4. Pets (OK, their owners) like when you give them gifts. Friends sometimes don't understand why anyone would give a dog or cat a silver-plated food bowl when the pet would happily eat off a paper plate. And it is true, pets do have simple tastes. But really good friends understand that by indulging the animals in my life they are making me happy. Even if you don't get why my dog needs a monogrammed sweater, know that I will think of you every time I put it on him.

5. Pets take priority in the household budget. Petless friends don't always get why I'm willing to spend serious money to treat my dog's or cat's serious illness. They act offended that those funds aren't being spent on helping humans in need. But you really don't want to get me started. When my friends give up spending on pricey new golf clubs or shiny new cars, they can talk to me about what I choose to spend my money on.

6. Some friends really don't get cat and dog shows. They think they're silly beauty pageants and a waste of time. They don't get that competitions are social occasions with other people who appreciate dogs and cats the same way that I do. Dog performance competitions and even cat agility events reward pets for excelling at what they were meant to do.

7. Dogs and cats are great listeners. Friends offer well-meaning advice when I'm depressed, but my cat and dog simply listen. They don't judge my tears or rants. They love me despite smelly feet, bad hair days or dumb mistakes -- and eagerly change my mood with silly games. Friends don't understand that just being with my cat or dog cheers me up when I'm sad, because a wagging tail or purr offers powerful emotional medicine.

8. People without pets don't understand the depth of grief I feel when a pet dies. A lost love deserves mourning that honors and respects that loss. Even if they've never experienced that level of connection with an animal, good friends support me through my grief. They listen to my tearful memories as long as it takes, because that's what I need.

We choose our friends because we enjoy their company, and we choose to share our lives with pets for the same reason. And hopefully, eventually, our good friends will begin to understand the place these animals have in our lives.

Amy D. Shojai also appears on Animal Planet's "Cats-101" and "Dogs-101" and lives in North Texas with a senior citizen Siamese and a smart-aleck German shepherd. Read her blog on Red Room.

source: Paw Nation

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Amen to dat! LOVE this post!

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