Are dogs considered part of your family? Are your dogs considered your kids?
As the only child in my family without kids, you become second tier to the grandkids. This is something that I understand. I love my nieces and nephews. My dog Max has fulfilled my maternal urges perfectly but this concept is not always understood by others. My family gets that Max is special to me (some more than others) but my dog does not have a place in the “family” rankings per se (he doesn’t get any Christmas presents except from my sister!).
I know that there are an increasing number of childless people in America and that dogs have become kids in many of these situations. It is always interesting to me the reaction that others have to this fact. Dog people tend to understand this concept but the majority of people still put us dog parents in a different category or look down upon our choices. Who hasn’t experienced the eye roll when you say “my dog is an only child”! Try being unmarried and not having kids, you should see the looks of pity I get even though I am perfectly happy with my life!
The dog industry is a billion dollar business and social media is awash in videos and pictures of our dogs and the funny things they do. The sheer number of rescue groups and organizations that exist still boggles my mind. It is so unfortunate that they are necessary. The dog trend does seem to be growing every year. Someone asked me the other day why can’t we get tax deductions for some of our dog related expenses. I wonder if at some point we dog parents will get some of the advantages that parents do related to our “kids”. Now I am not advocating equal status under the law but I do find the concept very interesting.
What are your thoughts or experiences on this issue?