Fun with Fur Babies

Timmy Thinking Deep Thoughts

When I encounter a lot of childfree people, I tend to see a common theme: complete and utter gratitude for the furry beings in their lives. Many people out there seem to really pour their maternal and paternal energies into raising their dog or cat. You see lots of pictures of fur babies on Facebook which go in direct competition with the bazillion other postings of real life babies who are smiling, drooling and getting all dressed up for their baptism.

I am also one of those childless people who also loves her pup. His name is Timmy and of course he’s the cutest dog in the world. I don’t know how that works really because everyone and their mother thinks that they own the cutest pup in the world.  He is the first real dog that I’ve owned.  I only had a cat growing up, an orange striped beast that we named Tigger.  My mom had taken him outside in our backyard on a leash, but he would always manage to squirm his way out of that thing and then cruise the suburban hood for days by himself.

I’ve heard before that you are supposed to first be able to take care of a houseplant before you graduate to having a pet. But I tended to kill all my houseplants. Seriously – we don’t have even one plant in our house. Not even a succulent. I’m afraid that my black thumb will cause the a plague.  So instead, I have this little guy.  Yeah, I know, the next step is to have a baby, right?  Sorry, I think I will stick to stuffing the doggie poop bags into my backpack rather than the Pampers.

It’s easy taking care of Timmy. He’s not a plant I can kill.  Rather, Timmy’s a very mellow dog, having been raised with a brother that tended to bully him. He used to be more shy around people and loud noises, but now he’s much more comfortable in himself. The first time my boyfriend took him to the ocean at the off leash beach, he apparently hightailed back to the parking lot because the sound of the crashing waves completely freaked him out.  Granted, he was only a few months old and very skittish. Now he will dip his dainty little paws in the water without a problem.

I love Timmy because he is so loyal and always happy to see me. I wouldn’t get the same reaction out of a kid because you never know what mood they would be in. Plus, Timmy requires some very minimal maintenance – two dog biscuits per day plus a small scoop of dog food in the evening. We had to put him on a diet because he was getting so pudgy that we couldn’t fit the belt of his little backpacking bags around his fat waistline. So he got on his own special Weight Watchers one-scoop-a-day dog diet.

My boyfriend and I were having a coffee the other day at our favorite funky place which is usually packed with the same pot smoking, don’t have to work very hard crew. One of the people nearby saw our dog and commented that we should have a kid too. My boyfriend just said that it’s much easier to train dogs and you can then leave them all day outside. There’s no Dog Protective Services around for someone to call and report us.

(Although I have to now make a confession.  We accidentally left Timmy outside last night and heard him howling at 3:30 in the morning.  Poor boy!  Just slips out the door and quietly waits there.  Really, we’re not bad “parents.”)

I have to say though that some people really go crazy with their pets. I wonder if childfree people in general go overboard with their fur baby love because their Fidos and Fifis just mean too much to them. They’re not human beings, people! I saw plenty of photos online of people dressing up their cats for Halloween and some of them were hilarious. I really enjoyed the Yoda one in particular.  The cat looked utterly miserable, ready to scratch his owner’s eyes out, rather than give some words of wisdom in mysterious sentences where the verb comes first.

But then it sort of gets freaky.

Once I saw a documentary of a woman who diapered her chicken and took the thing to the grocery store. She plopped her pet chicken in the shopping cart and took it from aisle to aisle as though it were the most normal thing in the world! And then, there was a very disturbing scene of her swimming with her goddamn chicken. Yes. In the pool. I hoped the chicken had waterproof diapers on.

So, I don’t know whether that woman was childfree or not, but I am guess that she might have been. She had to direct her chicken love somewhere.  Sorry, that’s a little too bizarre for me. Anyhow, that’s it for this post. I need to go now and put a Superman cape on Timmy. You know, just because.

Is your pet a substitute for a kid?

Jula Pereira

Jula Pereira

I am a freelance writer living the good life in beautiful Sonoma County with my partner and our dog Timmy. Please say hello on Twitter or connect with me on Facebook.

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6 Responses

  1. Christina Vega says:

    I love the idea for this blog! I also just have a fur baby and feel totally maternally satisfied.

  2. Yulia says:

    I have always found the assumption that childfree people necessarily adore their pets quite an exaggeration.
    I have got a cat, but I just happened to adopt it so to say, it wasn’t my choice.
    I don’t need kids’ substitutes, I am childfree, I have always dreaded having a kid and this doesn’t mean I’d prefer furry children

  3. Arianna says:

    We totally use our fur baby cat as a child substitute! It’s not intentional, it just happens, when a the creature is so cute, and we have so much love and nurturing to give.

    Though, not to split furs (that was a pun, see what I did there?) there is a Dog Protective Services that oversees animal cruelty, though it’s called Sonoma County Animal Services. So keep being a good mommy to Timmy 😉

    • Jula Jula says:

      Loved the pun! And yes, you’re very right about the Dog Protective Services. That did sort of cross my mind while I was writing it, but I couldn’t help myself.