Why Pet Owners Are Really Parents

Ellingsen Photography Trude & Dante Christmas 2011

I often wonder at those pet “owners” who don’t consider themselves parents. Looking at everything I do for and with Dante, I can’t understand why you would call yourself anything but a parent. Just think about it…

  • I bathe him regularly
  • I buy him gifts
  • I feed him regularly
  • We go for walks
  • I have cleaned up more of his bodily fluids than I care to think about
  • We play with his toys
  • I dress him in clothes he really doesn’t want to wear
  • I make him sit and stay when he’s hyper
  • He has a regular sleep schedule
  • I arrange for a sitter when I’m not going to be home
  • We went through potty training together
  • I soothe him when he’s sick
  • We go to the park
  • I take him to parties
  • We celebrate his birthday

...and so on. If you didn’t know “he” referred to my dog, couldn’t these all apply to a human child? Of course, it goes without saying that having human babies is a much, much bigger commitment, but I don’t think I’ve ever referred to myself as anything other than a parent. Owner doesn’t even begin to cover it, and to me is totally inappropriate.

What do you guys think?