Why a Pet Is Not Like a Spouse

Why am I publishing (or “publishing”) this? Because I’ve had it. Stay silent any longer, I cannot. Also, as regular readers of this blog may have intuited, I am completely out of fucks to give.

This is for those people out there who really, really love their pets. You know who you are. After a certain age, they become that person — the one who’s basically given up any hope of attracting a lover of the same species, and thus transfers his or her affection to a “fur baby” (ugh, ugh, ugh), the relationship equivalent of wearing a pair of velour sweat pants everywhere, even to the office.

Look, I have a dog I’m very fond of. During my married life, I took care of cats as well, not to mention a couple of hamsters (RIP, all). I don’t believe in hunting animals for sport. I approve of the doctrine of Reverence for Life (look up good old Dr. Schweitzer if you’re unfamiliar with the term). But, you know what? People are people and pets are pets, and being a person, I admit to bias and no, I won’t apologize for it.

Here are some reasons pets aren’t the same as people:

  1. If your wife dies, you can’t replace it by going to the Abandoned Spouse Shelter and getting a new rescue wife, no matter how much hipper it might be than buying one from one of those spouse-mill outlets in the mall.
  2. When you decide to move, you don’t have to get your pet’s permission or even talk it over with them. And no matter how much you love your pet, it’s not going to make you move hundreds of miles away against your will or buy it all kinds of expensive shit. (If you think otherwise, you have bigger problems.)
  3. You don’t have sex with your pet. (Seriously. You shouldn’t ever. If you do, I don’t want to know you.)
  4. Fetishizing your pet (calling it your “fur baby,” having it be the object of your closest personal relationship, etc.) is kind of pathetic. Fetishizing your spouse just shows how much you’re in love with them.
  5. Buying something for your pet on Valentine’s Day: see #4.
  6. Trolling for sympathy on Facebook when your cat or dog dies is just going to make the widows and widowers in your feed, not to mention parents who have lost a child, really, really angry at you.
  7. Being single and having a pet is to being married without kids as being married without kids is to being married with kids.
  8. One of the great satisfactions of being married/having been married is being able to use, with great relish and no apology, the phrase “false equivalency” to your single, pet-owning, pet-fetishizing friends.

Doesn’t quite work for me



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