The Pet Gene
Some people do not have pets. For many of us, this may be a difficult concept to grasp. Let me explain.
There are people who do not have dogs or cats. Or horses. Or chickens. Or even that whole foreign land of guinea pigs, rabbits, lizards, and fish. They do exist. These pet-less individuals are amazing. Baffling, and amazing. No animal husbandry, of any kind. What must that be like? I bet their lives involve a lot less poop than mine does. Poop and responsibility. With an increase in money. And more room on the couch. That doesn’t sound so bad.
Of course, there’s also less warm dog. Warm dog with wet nose and contented sigh. Maybe a stray snore here or there. Ever-ready companions, whether it be for adventure or just to hang out in the yard. Non-human creatures that know me, communicate with me, rely on me, and are a distinct part of my life.
How do you quantify their value to people without ‘The Pet Gene’?
Is that what it is? A Pet Gene? A biological predisposition to the innate understanding of, duh, life is just better with insert your beast of choice. You’ve either got it or you dont. Does it come from your up bringing? A childhood without pets, seems a sad thing indeed to me. But, perhaps that’s only because mine was so fraught with animals great and small, I have no concept of it any other way. If that’s true, then so is the reverse. The Husband had barely a short-lived cat growing up, and look at him now. Dog-wrangling with the best of them, which is potentially only a side effect of years spent under the spell of my sickness. He’d argue otherwise as he squeezes highly squeezable Pug wrinkles, and talks a little trash to the funny looking companion at this feet.
I don’t intend to demonize those uninitiated into to our world of hair, slobber, inappropriate barking, and dead weight in your bed. If you don’t ‘know’, I can see how my particular life would look ‘complicated’, to put it nicely. It’s certainly much ado for relationships I value. If you don’t, well then, its just much ado. As much as I am perplexed by these people who go on living without dog, like that’s normal, I do not pity them. They are blissfully ignorant. How can they know what they are missing? You take all the negatives, as previously mentioned and then some, add in my egregious dog spending. That on its own, without the knowledge in your bones of how sharing your life with a pack of perpetual 3 year old comedians, who just so happen to adore you, casts the whole world in a shinier hue. Minus the Pet Gene, it would all seem sort of ridiculous. Like a ridiculous pain in the ass.
Your dogs get acupuncture? You make some of their food? There are how many crates in your house? Yes, yes and six. Incredulous stares would ensue. A big portion of this blog would seem like a colossal expense and waste of time. Not having need for my dog bed manifesto, doesn’t make one less of a person. It doesn’t mean they are any less caring, compassionate, or have something lacking in their lives. At least, not that they know about.
Is it something people can learn? I’d like to think that for most people an animal soulmate exists. That non-humanoid who gets you. Who reduces even the stiffest upper lip to a puddle of belly-rubbing goo. I can personally attest to real life examples of that, but if you don’t go looking, how could you ever find each other? If you don’t feel your life is missing that presence in the first place, what could possibly be the catalyst for change? Is it something people come to later in life? My guess would be, not often.
Thankfully, we don’t have to explain ourselves to segment of the population. Moreover, we shouldn’t try. Nothing good will come of it. I’ll let my budget stand, even as my priorities change (and don’t). But, I do wonder how it must look from the other side. The dichotomy of a Big Fat Mortgage versus Pet Spending that often sits in the 4 digit category. Constantly grappling with my own grocery budget, while ensuring enhanced diets to all with paws and tails. To the unknowing, it would seem an easy problem to fix. Hundreds of dollars a month just waiting to be diverted to more worthy goals. If only I’d de-prioritize my expensive ‘hobby’, I’d be well on my way to Financial Independence. Oh, it could be so easy! If I didn’t know what I’d be giving up.
I’ve said before, don’t be like us. My plan is to not have this many again. While I do, however, I’ll continue to throw money down that bottomless pit of dog love and responsibility. Its served me well so far.
Do you have the Pet Gene? Were you born with it? Or was in it acquired?
Do the non-pet owners in your life find you crazy insane?