I love pets as long as they are your pets.
Growing up, my family owned so many pets that neighbors called our home the Swaby Zoo. I have great memories with pets: being licked, slobbered on, hair on my socks, seeing/smelling/cleaning pet poop, smelling dog breath. Great memories.
Now that I have my own home I don’t have pets, I have children instead. The only problem is I still get licked, slobbered on, get hair on my socks, see/smell/clean poop, smell wake-up-children’s breath.
Humanification: attributing human needs and wishes to a pet.
People who have pets amuse me, especially when they humanify their pets. (Humanify, I just made that up.) You’ve seen it – where a pet is dressed in a jacket with designer boots and the owner treats it like a little child. I once sat next to a man who let his dog sit on the table at Tim Hortons and fed the little itty-bitty dog! People eat on tables and we let our dogs sit on the table and feed them? What part of that is a good idea?
We also use human approaches to help pets with their ‘problems.’ People put their pets on diets, just like themselves. If I need a diet, I try Atkins. If my cat is overweight, he goes on Catkins! If I am anxious I use Ativan. If my pet is anxious, I give him Cativan?
I think what is actually going on is that pets have wooed humans into allowing them into our circle of trust. We have been pettified (I made that word up too). It’s only a matter of time until your cat uses the laser pointer on you. Imagine it, your boss will think you are on drugs as you chase that dot around your office, you just can’t stop yourself! You might think your dog has dog breath, but it’s really hypnotizing-halitosis! Soon you may be eating the biscuit and Sparky will have the remote control.
Keep it real