If you’ve read my earlier post on Reclaiming Life, you’ll know one of the most important things in my life is Muffles. I fret over him the way a mother would over her baby. I talk to him the way a parent would to her toddler. I possess a desire to protect him from all the harm and evils of the world the way a mother wants to protect her child. These are feelings and behaviours that I never thought would overcome me upon becoming a pet owner four years ago. But they did – so much so that the term “pet owner” sounds almost incorrect and vulgar now. In fact, should you try calling my sister or myself a pet owner today, you’ll likely be faced with an expression that says: Excuse me?! It is paw parent, thank you.
Our attachment to Muffles is to the extent that we would never leave the house without him. This means that we would spend hours googling pet friendly locations and restaurants, and they will become our go-to. If we can’t find anything new, we would rather eat at the same few places every other meal because it means he can be with us. We would rather skip out on fancy dinner parties than leave Muffles alone at home (because we worry about his night anxieties).
Ever since we got our little fur baby four years ago, my sister and I have also put whatever travelling dreams we have on hold (even before we started). The thought of being away from him for too long is simply heart-wrenching. If and when we do travel, we are constantly demanding photos, videos and live updates on what and how he’s doing (even though we know that he’s doing the same thing everyday). And yes, at some point, we were seriously contemplating installing webcams in the house in an attempt to keep abreast and “connected” with our fur ball while at work.
Whatever that hasn’t been spent on potential holiday trips, has already been spent on things for Muffles. Organic products, the best food, top treats, etc. My sister is his main chef and whips up meals that would put your daily meal to shame. Our recipes would testify.
We even set aside annual leave for random days just to be with Muffles. On such days, we may plan for a day trip to the beach. But most times, we enjoy just staying home with him. Nothing magical happens. These moments are spent lazing on the bedroom floor together, watching each other doze the afternoon away, giving belly rubs amidst quiet conversations (we do most of the talking and Muffles listens), snuggling and taking the regular walks around the neighbourhood. Yet, it is these quiet, simple moments that are most special because it is 24hours of uninterrupted time spent with our little precious one.
Are we insane? Maybe. Maybe not. When you really think about it, the average canine has but 15 years of life on this earth. That means, you have but just 15 years with it. Of the 15 years, a large part of it is spent away from your pup because life’s demands require you to be at work and social appointments.
You get an awww, so true moment when you read quotes and sayings about how people perceive dogs as part of their lives but dogs perceive us as the whole of their lives. Stop and really ponder it for a moment. Let the weight of your canine’s love for and commitment to you sink in. Now tell me: Are we paw parents that insane after all? I think not.