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To not want you to compare having pets to raising children

(160 Posts)
Imsosorryalan Wed 03-Oct-12 14:21:39

Ok, I know some people love their pets enormously but why do some insist that their dog/cat/hamster is JUST like having a small child? It's not, never will be.. End of

Example " little alan wouldn't sit still for a minute, I've barely eaten, cleaned (mnet) all day"
friend " oh yes, i hate it when hairy smelly rover doesn't let me get on either"

evilgiraffe Wed 03-Oct-12 15:43:25

Hippier - spot on. I don't have children, but wish to god I did. My cats are the only thing I have that comes even close - obviously I know they're nothing like children, but what am I supposed to use as reference otherwise?

Narked Wed 03-Oct-12 15:43:40

I adore my dogs and there are definite similarities, but if they're doing your head in you can shut them away and go out for an hour. Big difference.

Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 15:46:39

snort at siefried and roy

QueefLatina Wed 03-Oct-12 15:46:51

Gorgeous dogs hazle!

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 15:48:37

Evil, why do need a point of reference? You look after cats, other people look after children, they're two different things. I would never claim to know what it's like to want children and not have them, because I've never been in that situation. I might ask you about it, and listen to what you have to say about it, but I don't have a point of reference because I've never experienced it. I would never presume to compare not having children to, say, not having a much wanted job, because I know enough to know it's not the same. I've just never experienced what you're going through, so while I can commiserate I wouldn't ever claim to really understand.

QueefLatina Wed 03-Oct-12 15:52:05

So pets are easier to look after, less of a worry and are cute their whole lives?

<remembers why I stopped at 1 DC but want another dog!> grin

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 15:52:43

Some cats get evil as they get older. I think dogs maintain cuteness, but get more smelly.

iwantalittleone Wed 03-Oct-12 15:55:22


My sis and bro often look at me and my dp like this hmm when we say we have to go home to deal with the dogs. Erm, at least they can get gps to look after my dneices and dnephew no-one offers to dog-sit for us!!

QueefLatina Wed 03-Oct-12 15:57:04


My DS is 15. Not only has he got more evil as he has got older, he has got more smelly!

<this is a joke of course!>

evilgiraffe Wed 03-Oct-12 15:57:17

Cailin, the example in the OP was a friend sympathising with another friend. One was complaining about her child, the other about her dog. Had the childless friend shrugged and said "oh well" it would have been more of a conversation-killer, and much less friendly to boot.

People use their own experiences and references to enable them to form an idea of what other people feel - if you don't have something directly comparable, you go for the next best thing. At no point is the pet-owning friend suggesting the situations are exactly the same, but the point is to express sympathy for the friend with a child.

mommybunny Wed 03-Oct-12 15:57:36

Why do we need a point of reference? Because that's how most people have conversations - they try to relate what someone is telling them to something vaguely similar in their own situation to demonstrate their empathy. The comparison may be imperfect, but you know what, I think they know that. And if they don't have even a vaguely similar experience then all they can do is imagine how they would empathise.

OP, I think YAB slightly U. What's the big deal? I remember wishing I had had a maternity leave when we brought our Alsatian puppy home and DH (who wanted the damned beautiful thing in the first place) took off for a weeklong business trip to Russia!

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 03-Oct-12 15:57:49

Well my dog was harder to train than my ds.
Ds never chewed through my phone chargers or ate my sofa.
Ds is 17 and very behaved but my dog can still be a very naughty boy smile

Narked Wed 03-Oct-12 15:57:50

But you can leave them alone without anyone caling SS. Swings and roundabouts grin

Proudnscary Wed 03-Oct-12 15:59:09

I see what you are saying evilgiraffe (and I bloody love your nickname!)

evilgiraffe Wed 03-Oct-12 16:00:06

As I said earlier, hippermiddleton put it beautifully.

monsterchild Wed 03-Oct-12 16:00:28

YANBU to hate the comparison, but YABU to tell me I can't have my own opinions about it and that anyone who disagrees with you is completely and utterly wrong.

evilgiraffe Wed 03-Oct-12 16:00:54

Heh, thanks, Proud, grin

Ephiny Wed 03-Oct-12 16:00:58

In some ways it's a bigger responsibility, because if you get into financial difficulties there's no welfare safety-net to make sure your dogs are housed and fed, it's all down to you.

Also it's true that dogs don't 'grow up' after the first year or two, but they do get old and you will find yourself caring for them when they're elderly (perhaps with mobility problems, continence issues, senility etc) and making end of life decisions for them.

It's meaningless to compare really, as obviously the two things are very different in all kinds of ways. There do seem to be some parallels though!

evilgiraffe Wed 03-Oct-12 16:02:23

Good cross-post, mommybunny - exactly!

Ephiny Wed 03-Oct-12 16:03:59

Also it happens the other way round - I'll mention something about my dogs and people say 'oh that sounds like my kids'!

IdCalUaCuntBtUvNtGotTheDepth Wed 03-Oct-12 16:16:17

True ephiny and there is no NHS for pets

LST Wed 03-Oct-12 16:17:40

YANBU. Having a puppy is a lot more hard work IMO.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 03-Oct-12 16:21:05

Yes the 'baby' stage is shorter, unfortunately they never grow up and become independent.
Sadly for most bereavement comes sooner, but is no less profound.
I am a vet, but I lost my precious first born cat four weeks ago she had seen through some very difficult times and had watched over DD every night for 8 years. It was like someone torn a part of me out as she died and I can not as yet bear to put her ashes in the ground. Having had my husband walk out on me for OW earlier this year I can tell you for me the level of pain is not dissimilar.

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 03-Oct-12 16:27:14

I'm so sorry Lonecat sad

InvisibleHotPinkWeasel Wed 03-Oct-12 16:30:47

YABU to get involved in any conversation that involves competitive caring of living beings. Those sort of conversations are only for those that need to assert misguided superiority of others.

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