Monday, August 07, 2006

Furkids? Agh. Stop it!

A term bandied about to describe one's pets is "furkids." Even creepier, some refer to their children as "skinkids" which evokes an image of a child-sized maggot.
Stop that!
Your pets are not babies. If you want babies, have them. If you don't want to have babies, buy one of those dolls that talks and pees.
It's demeaning to any animal to think of it as your child, not to mention creepy and weird. It's an animal with animal drives - sexual, predatory, defensive, working, pack oriented, whatever. You simply cannot have a decent relationship with your dog if you think of the poor thing as a child.
I know a couple of people who refer to their dogs as children. One couple I know will tell everyone - oh, he's our baby! We can't have children, so we got him instead. And, they are serious. I feel sorry for their little dog, too. He's cossetted and catered and baby-talked to every waking minute, and therefore he's not a very happy dog. Nor does he have a shred of respect for the humans he lives with, he is neurotic and demanding and frustrated. It's a shame because he is a really bright dog who LOVES to learn and show off what he's learned. But since nothing is demanded of him, ever, he is bored.
I've taught him a few things (he is three years old and has never even been taught to sit, nor will he pay any attention to his humans if they call him.) I taught him sit and to jump over stuff on command, which took about 37 seconds because he's so eager to learn. When I'm at their house he follows me around and ignores his owners. I'm painting their house a bit at a time, so I'm there every month or two.
I've tried talking them into teaching him stuff, but since he's their baby they think it's mean to "make him" do things. Poor dog, I'd take him in a second.
I wrote about him back in March.
And stop with the blogs and stuff where you write from the pet's POV. They're invariably written as if by a gormless, dimwitted child, which gives one insight into how the owner really feels about them. Way to go.
Stop it.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Great Dane Addict said...

I must admit, I think I am guilty of calling my dogs my children. But I promise I don't actually mean that I think they are MY kids! I don't want children at all. I love dogs. I know they ARE dogs. They eat weird things and bark and drool and chase other animals. I have no problem with that. And I make them do things.

I don't think I've ever used the word furkid tho. I really agree that it's sort of odd and creepy.

And now I'll never hear the word skinkid again without picturing a giant maggot. Thanks for that. :)

10:42 AM  
Blogger Junebugg said...

I've had pets and kids both and believe me, pets are so much easier. They don't get put in jail and call at 2 AM. Excellent post

12:11 PM  
Blogger yellowdog granny said...

my sons told me once they thought i love our dog bill more than i loved them...and i said..if i did..who would blame me...bill has never snuck my jeep out of the drive way and took it to the lake, never thrown up drunk in my truck, never threw parties and had the police come and shut it down and i have never had girls parents calling me and telling me to keep my sons away from their daughters...case closed..
skin kids....euwwwwwwwww..

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Maritzia said...

*laughs* My husband and I have pets because we *don't want* children. If we wanted kids, we'd adopt some. We'd much rather have dogs.

Now, in some ways, these dogs are like kids to us. We are responsible for their happiness. We make sure they have the right kind of food (and some of the wrong kind, but not too much), that they see the vet regularly, have their shots, get enough exercise. We're responsible for their upbringing (read proper training). But they aren't children and can't be treated like children.

I feel sorry for the owners of that dog and think it's a good thing they don't have kids, because I have a feeling their kids would have been just as spoiled as the dog is.

*laughs again* My mother-in-law treats her dog like that. If she's sitting in a chair and the dog wants to sit there, she actually gets up and gives the dog her chair and will sit on the stool beside the chair petting him! And then she wonders why he never obeys her orders!

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said! Skin kids: ewwww! Sounds like they're made out of lampshades.

4:03 PM  
Blogger JJ said...

Ok, I'm guilty of using all the terms that you discuss, but at least I have a good idea that they're not little humans in furry suits and treat them accordingly. :-) Aspen and Derby both work every day, and they love the work and mental stimulation. They're well trained (well, Aspen is... Derby is a work in progress)...

But just because those of us who have a clue accidentally use those rancid terms for our dogs, does that make us evil? :-)

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Ivypup said...

Carina, interesting post, and I do feel bad for that poor dog.

I am guilty of calling Ivy my baby (don't think I have ever used the "furkid" word though). But I have told people I don't have kids so I baby Ivy instead. But I realize she is a dog baby and not a human baby. She needs to be a dog and I allow her to be. I also do a lot of work on training with her because this is what keeps her happy. Nothing in life is free for her (almost).

I think the wording matters little compared to how you treat the dog.

Oh, and my mom would love your post. I tell her that she is Ivy's grandma and she tells me she will never be a grandma to a dog. :-)

5:21 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Oh my, I was sure I would piss someone off with that one!
And just to clarify, yes I call my dogs "kids" sometimes too and joke about not having children, but Rottweilers instead because they are easier. So I know what y'all are talking about, we call them kids but realise they're not. Some people really DO, though.
Hi "anonymous"! I know who you aaaaaaaarrrre. :)
Thanks all for dropping by and barking at me. :)

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I find that cat owners tend to be the biggest culprits in the crime of "blogs written from the pet's point of view". Is it okay to admit that I think they're silly, but they still sometimes make me laugh?! I can only think of two I read on a regular basis, and they're well-written, so perhaps talent plays a part in how enjoyable they are. There's one blog "written by a dog" which is sort of written in its own language, and just for the amount of work which goes into it, I give the owner props. He's invented Pet Ebonics: SaveMouse.com

3:22 AM  
Blogger Carina said...

Pet ebonics? OK, that may be worth checking out....!
I guess I've seen some good writing from an animal's POV though I can't think of any off the top....it's the more cutesy baby-talk stuff that makes my teeth hurt.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous jan said...

Very well stated. I was going to write about this topic, but you said it all too well.I feel so sorry for dogs that can't be dogs.

Actually sometimes I wish my dogs would get off their butts and write posts like some of the other dogs on the web, but o well

11:45 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

Here! Here!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Rachelle said...

Okay I call my dogs and cat my furkids and my children my skinkids (will have to stop after the maggot description though) but I know my dogs are dogs and cats are cats and while I love them I expect them to act like animals not little people.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Behind Blue Eyes said...

One of my favorite dogs was a little mixed breed dog named Trixie. She weighed under 3 pounds. She was so peppy and energetic. She had a love of life and was always smiling! Every day she did something hysterical. She knew no fear and used to 'herd' my moms horses. It was funny because they actually obeyed her. Here are these huge horses and Trixie was like this little shrieking dot bouncing around. I always thought of her as a kid, I guess because she was so small. Of course, I have kids and would never think of putting my kids and any animals I might have into the same classification! It has always annoyed me too, though for different reasons!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Carina said...

Thank you Jan & Tabor!
Rachelle, I know what you mean and I know you well enough from the list, I am sure you're well aware of the distinction!
Diana - the term "little shrieking dot" will stay with me for a long, long time. Now I really want a bitty dog so I can call it that.

11:46 PM  
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9:04 PM  

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