Why do we have pets?
Not that I don’t sometimes wonder why I have Pye as a pet, but my question is why do we have pets in general?
We feed, shelter, groom and care for these foreign-looking beings. They’re covered in fur, walk on four paws, and may make a lot of noise. They scratch or dirty the furniture, and often make messes in inappropriate places. (Like when Pye peed on my bed because I was losing my shirt at WinStar without her.) They may even bite or scratch.
Yet, we pet owners tolerate it all. The question is, Why?
My mom recently recounted a story about her cat Zaki barfing on the bed after a traumatic experience at the groomer’s. Ah, the joys of kitty ownership! Hairballs on the carpet (always a mere foot away from the linoleum), peeing in random places when pissed, clingons (poo stuck to butt fur, especially prevalent with long-haired kitties), and the occasional barf of the bed sheets – because leaning over the edge of the bed must’ve seemed too far to go.
My neighbor…. Several of us were all standing around chatting in one neighbor’s yard, enjoying a warm evening. Three of the four dogs were chasing each other around the yard, as usual, when one started yelping incessantly. We all ran around the RV as the big dog crawled under, still yelping.
Six humans and three dogs crowded around the big black lab trying to figure out what was wrong. As I watched this unfold, I noted how we all reacted just as if it had been a child crying in pain.
The lab stopped yelping, but went back to hiding under a vehicle after we’d checked her thoroughly for any wounds. We tried coaxing her out with biscuits and treats, but she wasn’t having any of it – and this is a dog who, while generally very sweet, will take your fingers off just to get to the treat you’re trying to give her. She never turns down food, and often steals the other dog’s food.
But here’s the kind of crazy thing we do for our four-legged food-stealing friends… We took the dog for a car ride just to cheer her up. A ride around the very small RV park. We even loaded up her doggie playmate for this event. We had to do a couple laps around the park to make the ride last a whole five minutes. It seemed to cheer her up and we were happy she was happy.
We all chuckled a little about driving the dog around in circles, but no one questioned it for a second.
We love our pets like children.
My favorite RV neighbors are all moving on to new destinations within the next week or two, and taking their dogs with them. I’ll miss my new friends as well as their dogs… Even the one who constantly sticks her nose in my crotch. The dog, not the neighbor. I’ll miss the neighbor sticking his nose in my crotch, too. (just kidding!)
Why We Have Pets, or Why Pets Have Us
I joke that Pye owns me. Its those few moments when she’s sweet and cuddly that I melt and forget how upset I was when she peed on my bed three times in 10 days. Part of me worries about her for her every time I go away, even for a few days. The other part of me hopes she’s not a pain in the ass when I get back, and hasn’t wrecked the RV.
It’s so comforting to have a little, furry being in the house, even if they do tear it up. Watching them play, cuddling with them, watching them sleep, always makes me smile. I put up with the excess hair and errant poos for the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing Pye is happy.
Although, “a warm fuzzy” seems a terribly inefficient description of what I feel about why I have a pet. I love Pye, as I have loved all of my pets. And I think she cares for me too, most of the time. Maybe she just tolerates my refusal to let her scratch the furniture and my infrequent disappearances so she can get food, petting and a warm place to stay. Eh, I’m ok with that, as long as she’s happy – and stops scratching the furniture or peeing on the bed when I’m gone.
Why do you have a pet(s)?