News: Heartless Bitches can Raise Children and Pets (or, why I want to be a vet)


This shit makes me crazy. The local paper ran an article today about the booming pet care business, especially in dog-crazy Boulder. Here in Boulder, there is a "law" that encourages Boulder pet owners to refer to themselves as their pet's "guardians", not "owners". You know how I feel about this one; I have a receipt. But it gives you an idea of the mentality Boulder residents have towards their pets, and in general I think it's great. Here, our dogs are our kids. They hike (off-leash) with us, they frolic in the many dog parks, they are welcome in many businesses, not just the multitude of pet stores and pet bakeries (yes, pet bakeries), and they are everywhere. In an attempt to appear balanced, the author obtained some dissenting views, views on people who pour themselves into the care of their animals; views I have had to put up with from many co-workers over the years and even my own family members. The one they chose to print was a doozy:

"They either need to have children or get the Internet."

This scholar was quoted while standing in the most overpriced petstore in Boulder with her Australian Shepherd at her side. I feel sorry for that Aussie. She has a dog, but clearly it's "just a dog". No massage, no cancer therapy, no quality dog food for this guy, oh no; it's just a dog.

Where do we begin? First off, we can't all have kids (you stupid bitch). Some of us don't want to have kids (you myopic wench). And besides, the internet is a global computer network infrastructure that is owned by no one and utilized by many. You don't "get" the internet, just like Al Gore didn't "invent" it. And if you equate the responsibility of raising kids with a monthly cable internet subscription plan, I feel sorry for your kids as well as your Aussie (you sick cunt).

Emma, our dear departed cat and companion of 16 years, was my child and I loved her. When she died I struggled with my feelings of loss and attachment and was alternately devastated and frustrated--by my immense sorrow on the one hand, and the I-should-just-get-over-it-already-vibe I felt from some of my child rearing friends and family members.

Some people just don't get it. As I type this, Hooper lies at my feet looking content and I get a warm feeling knowing that Brenda & I are responsible for this. A domestic dog living in a city is as dependent on us as any child. They can't talk, they live much shorter lives, they have no opposable thumbs and they eat cat poo, but does that mean they don't deserve to have someone take care of them and raise them? They didn't ask to be born on the street, and they certainly seem to enjoy the spoils of good dog ownership: Hooper has a comfy bed and eats like a king, a diet of raw food and grain-free dry food that is supplemented with fish oil and other supplements. He is engaged in learning new "tricks" and goes to the park every single day. Is this indulgent? I don't think so; he is canis familiaris, not canis lupus. He is descended from the wolf, but he is something else, an evolved species that owes its existence to the fact that it figured out 15,000 years ago that maybe these humans could work together with them to make a greater existence for us both, and we have. And now that we are all in a better situation than our ancestors of 15,000 years past (hey, we even have Internet!), are we supposed to simply treat these animals like some barely-alive, barely-feeling entity? What the hell is the point in that? Look, if you want to have kids, great. But bear in mind that you are engaging in the least sustainable practice possible in the world today, and an overwhelming number of you are doing a shitty job of raising your progeny, to boot. So get the fuck over yourselves. Your kids consume more than any dog, and most of them are rude, snotty and grow up with an overwhelming sense of entitlement. How does that validate what you do? I'll tell you: it doesn't.

So let me and my people raise our dogs and cats, naming them and petting them and feeding them and massaging them and playing with them and training them and loving them, worrying about them, caring about them, putting up with them when they are being assholes and just connecting with them. You do what you feel you need to do, I won't implore you to get an internet of your own, but if your kid comes up to me and tries to talk to me in a restaurant while you bury your head in a burger, I'm telling it it's an asshole, and I don't care how young it is, capiche?

And this leads me to my latest announcement: I'm thinking about my third of fourth career change (depending on how you quantify a career): I have been thinking of becoming a veterinarian for a little while now (fleeting thoughts go back decades, but serious thought has occupied the last months or so), and I'm really starting to look into it. It's past the "idea stage" of many of my hare-brained schemes and more into the active planning stage. More on this later.

people pets sustainability Boulder Hooper complaints cats dogs rants veterinarians


Rob Guglielmetti Profile Picture
Rob Guglielmetti

lighting simulationist, crossfitter, former drinker.


Additional Posts
Share This Post
Twitter Google+ Pinterest Facebook