True Tales: Pet Parents – My Kids Have Fur
By Rachele Baker, DVM – I am pleased to introduce Daniella (Dee) Latham as the author of this True Tale. Dee is a senior copywriter, editor, and freelance writer who shares her life with her two Jack Russell Terriers – Scoots and Scout. Here is Dee’s story:
Pet Parents – My Kids Have Fur
As I’m writing this, my 11-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter are fighting over toys and running around the house. They stop and look at me, then at the cupboard where we keep the snacks. And those little faces know that I’ll give in and give up soon – meaning it’s cookie time again.
They’re average kids, just the furry kind with four paws. We’re married… with pets.
More and more, I’m meeting like-minded marrieds in their 30’s and 40’s who have chosen to adopt rescue dogs and love them even more than family. You know how moms post endless baby pictures on Facebook? I love to see them and adore my friends’ children. But my bragging is about PetSmart Basic Training graduation and how well behaved my son is around the larger breeds.
Does this sound nutty? Nope, we’re pet parents. That’s what we are and what we do.
There is a special camaraderie among this group of people that are owned by their dogs. Our conversations at the dog park are very much like the mothers at the playground – except we’re exchanging training tips, discussing the latest in organic snacks, or just sharing some cute shots of our progeny (“Here’s Vern attempting to jump on the kitchen counter!” and “Awww… Scout looks like she really loves that tennis ball!”).
But the one thing that separates many pet parents is exactly how they acquired their dogs. “Did you rescue or purchase your pup?” That is the underlying question that gets the dander up on all sides. I’m pretty vocal about the fact that rescue is the ideal way to go. That doesn’t sit well with folks that purchased their dogs from a pet store because I always mention (in a tactful way) that there are so many lonely, sweet, possibly misunderstood or abused, dogs sitting in shelters that have no hope and need help. It causes some strong feelings and reactions on both sides of the issue.
We don’t dress our dogs up for the holidays, but of course they do wear their jackets in the cold weather as do all of the other neighborhood pups. They don’t travel in designer purses to restaurants and clubs. We take them hiking, walk around town with them, and play outside. They’re family, not accessories.
Oh, there are the challenges that all pet parents face. Closing the bedroom door for some “alone time” with my husband inevitably means a paw scratching at the bedroom door in a few minutes. Having a work-related conference call means that it’s time to let the dogs play in the yard lest my clients hear barking or worse – heavy breathing – on my end… like it’s an obscene phone call.
There have to be people out there that think pets are really a substitute for human companionship. But that’s just not true. One can have a very full life with a significant other, lots of friends, and four-legged family members.
Furry kids are like little bouncing beacons of light that brighten absolutely everything. So even when life is good, they make it just that much better.
About the Author: Daniella (Dee) Latham is a senior copywriter and editor (day job) and a freelance writer (up all night – lots of coffee!). Scoots is her 11-year-old boy and Scout is her 6-year-old girl. Scoots and Scout are both rescued Jack Russell Terriers. You can read Dee’s work on her profile page at LinkedIn.
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