Kids vs. pets

[deleted account] ( 31 moms have responded )

This stems from the horsemeat post which I, admittedly, did not keep up w/, but just now skimmed the last page and saw where the kids were loved equally to the pets and I'm sorry, but... WHAT?!



I loved my cat. Got him about a month after we got married. That guy slept on or w/ me almost every single night for 7.5 years. We played 'hide and seek' together (seriously, that cat was awesome) among many other things, but guess what....



When it came to my ex leaving me and me knowing that I'd never be able to afford to rent a place on my own WITH that cat.... and my ex would get the kids if I had no place to live w/ them.... Guess who got the cat? Yep, my ex. No way did I even hesitate about making that choice.



Editting to add.... it did make me SAD knowing I had to leave the cat, but when I looked at the face of my newborn son... NO comparison whatsoever.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

The cat that got hit by a car in the middle of the road, but was still alive wasn't MY responsibility either... But I still got a shirt out of my van to wrap it in, moved it to the side of the road, and called my dad bawling my eyes out to call the Humane Society and come and get it....

Just the fact that someone can say they feel nothing about a dog that STARVED to death.... that level of cruelty simply can not compute in my brain. :( Sorry. I think I WILL lock this thing.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

Lacye, totally missing the point. Instead of complaining to your husband about how bad the dog is, you should have seen the potential danger as a sign that the dog needed some sort of proper training and socializing. Instead, the dogs life ended in a very painful unnecessary death, because no one cared enough to give it the training it needed.....or at least find it a home that could have rehabilitated the dog.

Mary - posted on 11/06/2011

3,348

31

119

Katherine, I have to vehemently disagree with your assertion
that you cannot train/retrain an "older" animal...particularly with dogs. At the time we were dating, my husband, against my advice, adopted a 4 y/o pit mix who had never lived in an actual home, and had clearly been abused. While not inherently aggressive without provocation, he did have some real issues with reactionary behavior when he felt threatened. I don't mean to speak ill of the hubs, but I knew he really had no clue about all the work that would be required to rehab this dog. Luckily, we got engaged and moved in together within 6 months of his adopting Sammy. I say that, because he (probably like Layce's hubby) not only didn't understand how to help the dog, he just didn't want to be bothered will all of the active, daily effort required to shape this dog's behavior.

That dog became my project. I already had a "good" dog, which helped immensely in this, and actually made Sam much more secure. However, I spent a LOT of time and effort (but no "extra" money) on him. I walked the hell out of both of them daily. At first, it was torturous, since he had to learn how to walk properly on a leash, but a tired, stimulated dog is a much better behaved one. I spent countless hours playing with him, and even more time working on house training and non-marking. I also had to put a great deal of time into socializing him with both people and other animals.

I am both happy and proud to report that it was a complete success, and when my daughter was born a year later, I had absolutely no more worries about his behavior around and with her than I would any other "normal" dog in this world. Actually - my not quite 3 y/o would tell you that Sammy is "her" dog now, and she's probably right about that. Of course, I should add, I have continued to maintain most of the things I was doing to "make" Sammy into a family-friendly pet, who is a much beloved member of our family. Even with a child, I still walk those dogs a few miles a day - I just incorporated my daughter into those walks. I still give them attention on a solo basis, as well as with her. I have watched all three of them like a hawk if they are together; I never leave her alone with them (but honestly, that is more for their protection than hers).

"Good" animals rarely happen by accident. They require effort on the part of the owner. The bulk of animal mishaps and bad behaviors can almost always be traced back to owner negligence or mistreatment. And while I will always have dogs in my house, they are certainly not replaceable or disposable. I find that mindset both callous and repugnant.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

One more thing to add Lacye, it was very irresponsible as a parent, and a pet owner for you to send a dog to a home that has a child KNOWINGLY doing so with the potential of the dog biting another child. THEN, not even helping her find an appropriate home for the dog AFTER it bit. Sorry, but you and your husband are equally to blame for that child getting hurt by the dog.

Mary - posted on 11/06/2011

3,348

31

119

I think situations where it is truly a case of choosing pet vs child are pretty rare. More often, it is a situation where the adult human simply doesn't want to put forth the necessary effort to make a situation workable, and uses the excuse of putting the child(ren) first to absolve themselves of their failings.



I don't view it as a competition between my child and my dogs. When Molly was born, I didn't automatically love my dogs any less. Nor am I the type of person who saw motherhood as a reason to shirk my responsibility to care for them. It was a little more challenging to meet their needs and hers, but with some effort, it was certainly doable. For me, it was no more of choice than for those of you who have to balance the needs of a newborn with that of older children. Having a child did not suddenly negate the commitment I had made to those dogs when I adopted them.



As for the whole "Who do you love more" business...I guess I just don't think of it as a comparison situation. I love my daughter. I love my dogs. I just love them a little bit differently.



Before Molly was born, I was very involved with my sister's kids, even though they lived over an hour away. I love them unconditionally. When Molly was born, I didn't suddenly love them less, nor did I cease to be as involved in their lives, or feel any lessening in my responsibilities as their aunt. I still wanted to attend the occasional soccer game, dance recital, or whatever...so I still did. I just brought Molly with me. It was more work, sure - and I had to just as (perhaps more) careful and watchful of my child with my then 4 y/o nephew around the baby as I did my dogs. At least my dogs never tried to feed Molly raisins at 7 months, or pick her up and carry her!



Are animals "equal" to humans? It depends on the context of the question, I suppose. They may not be our intellectual equals, but that does not make them any less worthy of our love, care, and respect. I would no more kill a dog with my bare hands that tried to bite my daughter than I would that obnoxious little boy in her gym class that bit her, or the 5 y/o girl who tried to push her off the top of slide. Violence or harmful behavior in one creature does not justify a violent or vengeful response in another...it just makes you the same as them.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

31 Comments

View replies by

Jenn - posted on 11/06/2011

675

1

47

Pets should be treated with kindness and respect. They are not on the same level of children, of course, but any animal at the home is every adult's responsibility. Treating any living creature humanely should be a no brainer!

As for the lengths I will go for my pets, it is all within reason and with love. When pregnant with my first child, our Dachsund had two ruptured vertebrae. We had 24 hrs to decide to put him down or surgery. I begged hubby to help Zeus. So, we paid the nearly $3000 surgery and, thank God, the dog survived. After three months, he began to walk again. That was 7 years ago.

Now that I have two children, I might not be so quick to spend the money. Yes, some vets do offer assistance but it isn't always available and not all patients meet criteria. When my beloved white cat, Mia, had liver failure, it was at a time we couldn't afford the expensive attempt to save her with a slim chance of her survival. I held her and cried my heart out over the terrible decision to have her euthanized.

If I couldnt keep an animal, for whatever reason, I would do what I could to find a loving home for it. My children always come first but it is only right to remain respectful, loving and humane with all creatures.

Katherine - posted on 11/06/2011

469

0

34

Just because you have a pet doesn't mean it NEEDS to go to the vet. I grew up on the farm with animals all over the place, the vet came to see the cows and that was it. The dogs, cats, bunnies and chinchillas were left as they were. The cats and dogs also came into our house with us every day and night, no regular shots, nothing wrong with them.

You can be responsible for your pet, feeding them, watering them, loving them and watching out for their well being. They don't NEED to see the vet.

As to my comment about paying for a huge expensive surgery for my cat, I would NEVER, I'm sorry, I've grown up with cats and we would never pay for something that rediculous (imo), we had a male cat who had stones, the surgery would have changed him to a female, at the time was well over $3000. would you pay for it? That money would go to my child, new clothes, toys, whatever he NEEDS.

I do see animals as being, well animals. Yes they are pets but they are also replaceable. The personality however is not.

You CANNOT train an older pet new behavours. I have a 10 year old female siamese cat who is bitchy to everyone, am I going to change her personality, no, training will not help so why waste my money on something that wont help? My male cat is wonderful, although always underfoot, will I ever change that? I could only hope. Since the baby came home (they've never been around children until 7 months ago when the baby came home) they've been good, how ever marking certain areas, we've purchased a few things to help prevent it and I do certain things to prevent it, but if she pisses in another stroller something will have to be done with her.

My cats are my cats, they are my stress releavers, and my fur babies, however they are just animals. They are well taken care of, fed, watered, have a ton of toys (and even more with the babies toys), and they are healthy, do they need to see the vet, imo no, not unless there is something visibly wrong or a change in behavour/personality

@Layce, I can agree with you. I grew up on farm , we had adopted a dog when I was little and she ended up grabbing a pom pom on my hang and choking me, almost to death. The dog was gone that night. You had NO responsiblity in my eyes, the dog was your husbands, you lived up to the feeding and watering when needed, but it was not your responsiblity to rehome it etc. you did what was right in your eyes for your family

Lacye - posted on 11/06/2011

2,011

31

160

You just don't give up do you. I'm just going to say this one last time, I was not responsible for the dog. It was not mine, I didn't buy the food for him, yeah I made sure he had water and food when my husband was at work but that was the most of it. I mostly kept the dog away from where ever I was at because of how he was. You keep talking like the dog was mine and I keep telling you that it wasn't. The dog had been like this for years. IMO, people shouldn't preach at others for situations they don't know anything about. Especially when they want to say not enough was done because with limited resources, it's kinda hard to get things done.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/06/2011

18,914

9

3002

Yes, we will definitely have to agree to disagree. But Lacye, you moving in with the dog makes them your responsiblity, whether you want to admit it or not. ESPECIALLY when you got pregnant, and had children. The responsibility of owning a pet that is properly socialized around children becomes EXTREMELY important. The point? The dog COULD have been trained, and in my honest opinion, not enough was done.

Lacye - posted on 11/06/2011

2,011

31

160

Merina, I have a feeling we will have to agree to disagree because I still say I had no responsibility for that dog. I tried to do what was best for that situation, and it still ended up with the dog being dead. Nothing will change that. I've not made excuses, but told you what happened. I don't feel bad about anything I have done because I was looking out for the best interest of my child. It seems you can't understand that and if you do then you obviously don't really care. I will not feel sorry for a violent, aggressive animal, just like I won't feel sorry for a violent aggressive person when they go to jail for whatever purposes. I tried the best I could but I'm just not that perfect. Have a nice day.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/06/2011

18,914

9

3002

Well, it is good to know you warned her, but if there was a potential to bite, the dog never should have gone to a home with kids.

As far as your husband not wanting to do any training, you should have done it regardless. I mean if you were that concerned about your kids safety, you should have. I don't see how he would be so willing to give the dog up, but not train it. Men are weird sometimes, but it should not have been in question. You lived with the dog too, of course it is also your responsibility. Once you move in with someone with pets, they are yours also. If you don't want the responsibility, deal with it before you move in. Sorry, this is no excuse to me. I get that you didn't like the dog, but once you are living with a pet, it is everyones responsibility.

Lacye - posted on 11/06/2011

2,011

31

160

Marina, the chick lives 3 and a half hours away so it's just so easy to run down there and help her find a home for it. The dog wasn't mine to begin with. So I hold no responsibility for it at all. It was my husband's and his ex's dog when they were together. As for it was irresponsible for me to give them the dog knowing he would bite, I told his ex what would happen. I warned her before we started the trip down there, I warned her when we were there, and I warned her before we left. I told them that they should probably keep SD away from the dog. They wouldn't listen and pretty much told me I was a liar. We had no other person to take the dog to and I knew it was going to kill my husband if we had to take it to the pound because of his age and his behavior.

Now to the subject of me having the dog trained. I told my husband when we first moved in together that he would have to do something about the dog. He was showing aggressive behavior then and I knew it was going to end badly. I told him that we should find somebody to help us. He said no because the dog never attacked him, just me and the ex (yes he even went after the ex before and she still wanted him). As I have said, I hold no responsibility for the dog because I tried to start from the beginning and every time I tried I was met with difficulties from my hubby. He liked the dog the way it was. Once again, I did what I knew was best for my child at the first opportunity I could. I at least found him another home instead of keeping him and ending up killing it with my own hands which would have made it a lot worse. I love animals, please don't get me wrong, but I won't tolerate one coming after my child simply because she is a child and would want her father's attention (which was when the dog acted the worse).

Stifler's - posted on 11/06/2011

15,141

154

597

I have no pets but if I did they would definitely not be on par with my children. I do not like animal cruelty at all though, even though I don't like animals that much I see no reason for all the hideous cruelty that goes on.

Minnie - posted on 11/05/2011

7,076

9

786

I do agree with you there, Marina. Starving an animal is horrifying torture, and I do believe is criminal, correct?



So I don't put animals on the same level as humans but I do still believe it's the ethical thing to do to treat them with kindness and respect. We shouldn't anthropomorphize animals, aggressive behaviour is no reason to have a vendetta against it; it has different motives.



A child's welfare comes before a dog's by all means, but being proud of animal cruelty because the dog received it's 'due time'? :(

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

I cannot say that if I had 3 kids, and single that I would have anything but a cat. They are hard work, and take a lot of time and care. I would wait until the kids were old enough to help. But if you are in a community that doesn't allow pets, well....your families time will come. For now, going to the humane society and giving pets extra love is the way to go! Dog parks are nice too!

[deleted account]

I know that. I've always had a pet in the home until my ex left. I would LOVE for my kids to have a pet (other than the ones they see 2-3 times/year at their dad's). I live where they aren't allowed though (same place I was trying to get into when he left... took 6 months to get in). Plus, w/ 3 kids on my own... I just can't handle a pet. :( We visit the Humane Society quite often though. We ALL love the animals there. ♥

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

No Teresa, pets and children are not on equal grounds, BUT homes can be made pet friendly, and children can have so much fun with the appropriate pet in the house. For me, it is very important for my children to be raised with pets. I feel it teaches them responsibility, and empathy. Also, they always have a friend to come home to on a rough day.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

Naw Teresa, it is ok. I think threads like this are so important because it can open up peoples eyes and minds to what neglect and abuse is to an animal. You know me, how I am about animals. But, I would like to see it stay open....unless you feel you should lock it.

[deleted account]

I'm sorry Marina. If the post is upsetting you I could lock it...

I LOVE animals like crazy. I just can't put them on equal ground as my kids and wanted to say that.... but the horsemeat post was already locked. ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

People only seem to enjoy having pets, until they get in the way.

Lacye - posted on 11/05/2011

2,011

31

160

I still stand by what I said. I had my child's safety to think of and her welfare comes before an animals. I enjoy having pets, but when it comes between them and my daughter, they will lose every time.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

This thread is actually started to infuriate me. Just because you have a child, pets should not be tossed to the curb like garbage.

If they have issues, you train them and socialize them. It is your responsibility as the owner and parent to do so.

If your pet needs veterinary care, and you cannot afford it....well quite frankly you should have thought of how potentially expensive pets are BEFORE you adopt them. Most clinics now offer something called "care credit" which is a credit card that can make it more feasable to afford such costly visits...or get pet insurance. Pets need to go to the doctor regularly, especially since they cannot communicate what may be wrong with them.

Katherine - posted on 11/05/2011

469

0

34

@Vicki, went through the cat pulling thing today, my son was on my knee and my cat was on my other knee, i looked down to see my son tugging my cats ear, and her just laying there taking it!!!! The things those cats endure to be with their masters.

We've had our cats for almost 10 years, we love them, there were our "babies" until we had our baby!! My cats still sleep on my bed with me every night, however my child comes first and he will always come first!!!

If my cats ever have to have surgery, im sorry to say it they will be put down, it's far to expensive to a pet!!! IMO I also don't take my pets to the vet, they are indoors and healthy, they've been fixed and vax'd for 6 years or so, ones declawed (she skracted everything) and the other is not (he uses his post only) but once they are gone, there will be no more pets in this house!!!

We also have reptiles, they're great but not as cuddly and have lost their touch since i became preggo with my son and couldn't handle them anymore

Lacye - posted on 11/05/2011

2,011

31

160

Yeah. She let him starve to death. I felt bad for my husband because he really loved that dog but I couldn't feel bad for the dog. I just couldn't. Before the dog tried to bite SD, they had him inside, baths every few days, and he was even starting to get fat. After the incident, he was thrown outside, the last time we saw him he was filthy and you could see his ribs. The only part that made me mad about the dog was the fact they didn't even bury him. They threw the body on a burn pile and burned him. Even if I didn't like the damn thing, my heart isn't that cold.

[deleted account]

I feel for the dog. :( Granted, I wouldn't have kept him EITHER, but she just let him starve to death?! That's horrifying.

Lacye - posted on 11/05/2011

2,011

31

160

My daughter would come first. Hands down. On the other hand, when we did have a dog (my husband had this dog when he was with his ex) I hated that mutt. When I was pregnant, he would jump up and bite me on the ass. After my daughter was born, every time she cried or made any kind of noise, the dog would come running into the room growling and barking (basically making the crying worse). I would fuss at my husband about it but he would always take up for the damned dog. Well, when we decided to move, I purposely picked a place where animals were not allowed simply because I wanted to get rid of that dog because my daughter was getting to the age where she was crawling around all over the place and getting into things. I knew that if we had kept that dog, he was going to eventually bite her and I would have to kill the dog (and yes I would have killed it if he bit my baby). So we took the dog to his ex's house because she wanted it. A few months after we had gotten rid of him, hubby's ex called and demanded we come get the dog because it tried to bite my SD (I warned them that would happen but nobody would listen to me). I told her flat out that we couldn't have the dog here and we were not coming to get it and taking it somewhere else either. She ended up keeping the dog but they pretty much starved the thing to death (literally, the dog died because it was hungry). Do I feel bad for the dog? Nope not at all. If he hadn't have been aggressive towards anybody but my husband, I would have happily kept him and had no problems. My child's welfare comes first before any animal.

Jennifer - posted on 11/05/2011

714

1

26

My kids come first, then my husband, then my pets. I may think about my safety at some point........Case in point, I had my puppy out in my truck and had to get out and walk about 150 feet to an atm. Some idiot kids thought it'd be cool to break into my truck. Five of them. I caught 2, the rest fled. It had NOTHING to do with the truck, as I damaged it by bouncing one kid's head off the side. The cops LOL, and said I was lucky they weren't armed. I informed them that I'd have taken it and used it on them! Yeah, don't mess with my pets! BUT, my take is this- if someone breaks into my house, my dogs will be the first to meet them. If they get past my dogs, they will meet me. I WILL have my gun loaded by then, and will be extremely bent about whtever they did to my babies! My husband will tell everyone that I gave up my cats when we met, he thought he was allergic(long story) and I didn't want him or the kids to suffer through that, but he had no such health issues with my snake. Only near phobic fear. I still have my snake.

My animals are family to me. I take good care of them. I love them. I've spent months looking for rent houses that accept my pets, living closer to my job was not worth loosing them. (Rotties, pits and Dobes are not easy to rent with!) BUT, if it came down to my kids eating, or having a place to live, well, the animals would be gone.

Minnie - posted on 11/05/2011

7,076

9

786

We love our cats; last year Toni got a mylar craft pom pom lodged in her small intestine and nearly died. Emergency surgery saved her, thankfully.



And I was in tears during that time considering the loss of her, and how Zander would react to her death.



But I would choose my husband and children over the cats any day, hands down. We enjoy them, but they are not on equal footing with humans.



And I'm sure the feeling is mutual for them.



I agree, Teresa, there is no comparison whatsoever between my daughters and my cats.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

I will say I prefer animals in general over humans though :) I relate to them better.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/05/2011

18,914

9

3002

If it was a choice of having my children over the pets...well kids hands down. But, i would do everything possibly imaginable to keep my pets to. Right now, i only have 1 cat. My family does not feel complete. I want at least 1 dog (or 2) and one more cat. I don't feel settled with what we have.

Vicki - posted on 11/05/2011

1,150

0

166

Yep. I would be devastated if we lost our cats for whatever reason, but I wouldn't choose them over my boy.

Poor kitty. This afternoon I heard my son making an 'effort' noise (arrrrgh). I turn around and he's pulling the cat's tail as hard as he could. She was trying to ignore him, staying curled up with her eyes shut. At that point I sided with the cat and boy got a telling off! Poor cat puts up with a lot even though he is gentle with her most of the time. But yeah ultimate choice would be my son of course.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms