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Treating your Pet as a Child

Click on this photo to read the story on There’s nothing wrong with thinking of your pet as a child. The article ends with:

When interviewed by Science Daily, lead author Samantha Deffler recalled her mother routinely referred to her by the name of her sister, brother, and family pit bull. One other thing about that study, something that no doubt gives cheer to dog partisans everywhere: People rarely made the same mistake with cats.

I must beg to differ with the last statement, but first a little about my history. From the time I can remember, we had a dog named, I think, Cica (pronounced Cheeka) It's an Italian name and I never asked how it was spelled.

Regardless, she was a part of the family; however, my parents, nor did I, treated her as a child. She was a true friend. During my grade school years, I had to cross a 4-lane city highway to go to and return from school. We lived on the infamous Route 66 in Springfield, IL. My mother would watch me as I crossed the street to go to school. However, upon returning from school, Cica sensed me and begin barking from our backyard clear across the 4-lanes of continual traffic, including semi trucks. Occasionally, she would get out from the backyard and, thankfully, just sit near the sidewalk waiting for my mom to come out and assist me across the street.

Our next door neighbors were an adult daughter and her parents. They had a French poodle and they did treat their dog as a child/grandchild. They treated their dog with tender loving care. They would scold him when she was bad and love her like a child when she was good. Occasionally, they would dress her up and take her for a walk.

As for Cica, I treated her well, but occasionally I would dimiss her. I remember one time when I took off on my bicycle and left her behind while she was running after me. Afterwards, I felt sorry and gave her a great big hug after I returned.

Since I've been married, we've had one dog and 3 cats. For the most part, we treated our dog and our first two cats well, but not as our children. After raising two sets of "human" children, our daughter and two grandkids, our third cat, a very docile cat he loves to be rubbed on her stomach, neck and ears (see video), has become our child. At least for seniors, especially for those like us who have raised two generations, pets provide peace and tranquility without having to deal with the terrible twos and the teen years.


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