"Having pets and not exercising them enough is no different to parenting children and allowing them to become overweight, unhealthy and die sooner; except in one major respect.
From the moment of birth an infant is dependent on their mother for food, shelter, nurture and protection and remains so until that bond is healthily weakened and separated in adulthood.
But a pet's dependency upon its mother is infinitely shorter and is quickly transferred to its owner, where it remains for the rest of its life.
Thus in the general scale of things, our pets need us and depend upon us far more than our children ever can as their dependency is total, because unknowingly their owners wish it that way.You see we cannot own children; merely hold them in care until they become adult and then release them into the world to make their own way.
The next time you see a human seemingly treating a pet like a child and silently believe them to be behaving foolishly, please have regard for the facts I've just outlined. We uncharitably believe such attentive owners of their pets to be acting as substitute mothers who ought to spend their time on their spouse more than on their pet, especially if they are childless.
And yet in the midst of our lack of charitable thought we are in essense 'bang on' in a major part of our assessment of them. They are behaving like substitute mothers because that is what they are; a life-long substitute mother! Long ago their pet transferred their dependency from their mother to their owner and faced with this onerous task, the responsible pet owner will discharge this responsibility as prime carer until the day their pet dies. And when their pet dies, that is why the depth of the owner's immediate sadness and loss is just as great as is present, even in the death of a human child.
Is such heartache worth the close relationship between owner and pet? Of course it is; for there is no other relationship where the love which comes back to every pet owner remains unqualified for the whole of that relationship's existence! And when the pet has died, like all our loved ones who are part of our family tree, they leave not this world behind without the scent of their trace remaining with us. We never forget those precious walks we shared at the start and end of every day.
Fortunately, both me and Sheila love animals. Indeed; I'd go so far as to say that if she hadn't, we wouldn't be together today, even though I had no pet when we first met, though she did. Sheila is a responsible dog owner and our rough collie's wonderful temprement (Lady) and overall health and coat reflects this. Each morning around five thirty am, Sheila removes her body closeness and affection from our matrimonial bed and instantly transfers it to her baby. Lady is taken out on the Haworth Moors come rain or shine for a three mile walk and her daily exercise. By the time Sheila returns home around 7am i am just getting up and suddenly a strange thing happens in our household. After Sheila gives Lady her breakfast and a kiss, she transforms herself from mother to wife and in the process transfers her primary love and attention back to me until the next morning between 5.30am and 7am. Thus she sees to her Lady and then for the rest of the day becomes mine.
I know that in the early stages of our relationship, Sheila may have momentarily felt that I might have been a teeny bit jealous of the attention and time she devoted to Lady daily, but let me assure you Sheila, I never was and loved you all the more for it! Now I have two ladies in my life and couldn't be happier.What a dog's life. Yippee!" William Forde: July 18th, 2014.