About those Dogs and Cats

About those Dogs and Cats

Dear Readers,

Most of us love our animals, and we welcome them into our lives. Dogs and cats hold a warm place in the hearts of many, and for good reasons. Our pets are fun, and can often help a lonely or pain-wracked heart. There is no doubt that our pets are gifts from God.

Yet, our pets remain animals, no matter how we think of them. They are adopted members of our families only because we choose to make them so, but they are not truly members of our families–we are humans, they are animals. A recent trend tends to eliminate the lines between humans and animals, and it is a line I believe should remain in-place. Consider the following phrases (spoken to or about) regarding pets:

— “Oh, there’s my baby.”

— “My little man, or little lady.”

— “Where’s your daddy?”

— “Mom will be home soon.”

— “We are babysitting our grand-dog or grand-puppy.”

— The list goes on and on. Insert your own commonly used phrase here.

It should be needless to say this, yet dogs/cats are not our babies, and we are not their parents or grandparents. They are not little men or little ladies. They are dogs and cats with animal DNA and animal instincts.

Perhaps you’re wondering why I care about such things, and in general, I don’t care much about what names or attributions people give their pets. For a long time pet owners have dressed and coddled their dogs and cats, and I honestly didn’t care. However, there does seem to be a sharp trend toward humanizing our pets, and that troubles me. We already see fewer marriages, and many of the couples who do marry are having fewer children. It seems as if for many, pets are replacing real people. Billions are spent every year, and pet parks are being built in cities and suburbs, with owners frequently speaking in human terms regarding taking their pets (animals) to the local pet park — such conversations and terms used to be reserved for human babies and children (a troubling trend indeed).

Why does it matter? As I stated above, I believe pets are a gift from God, and I’ve always been a dog person; however, the phrases and terms we use matter. By referring to our pets in human terms, we are blending the reality of being a human, and we are doing an injustice to what God has made. We (humans) carry the image and likeness of God, it is a special and singular gift given to humans, and nothing else around us holds that gift.

During a season in which we celebrate the birth of our Savior (a divine and human baby in a manger), perhaps we can begin to place our pets in proper perspective.

I’d love to know what you think of the article, post comments in the box below. You can subscribe to my email list (below), and follow me on Twitter:

Thanks for reading, and please share this work,

T.P. Johnson










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