not my 'babies'

jollyrdAugust 17, 2010

We adopted both of our dogs, and we care and love them, they are spoiled with food and toys and treats. I wash and clean them and give them preventive medicine, they get a clean bill of health. And they live out their lives as they want, not on a leash, not cooped in the house - they are free-range free-soul animals and they know what it feels like to chance a deer in the woods.

I am aware that I am going to invite a storm of negative reaction. Please, if you call your pets 'my babies' - dont respond - I am not trying to change you and you are not going to change me. For one, I know for a fact, I was never pregnant in my life.

So, for those of you who can handle a level-headed conversation and who dont call or consider your pets 'your babies' - What do you say, how do you react to people who not only call your dog 'your baby', but insist 'well, of course they are your babies, of course you are their mommy/daddy' ? And if you were successfull, how did you manage to stop this?

The drop line for me was when a person insisted on congratulating me on Mother's Day. I told him I am not a correct recipient since I dont have any children. He insisted to congratulate me, insisted that he heard me call my dogs 'my babies' - to which I said "I am pretty sure I dont call them that'. I call them princess, trouble, big head, cuties, most spoiled dogs in the world - but not 'my babies'.

Thank you

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We have 2 dogs and 7 cats and we also allow them to run free because we can. We live on a farm with no neighbors for miles. What we call our pets is not so important as how we look at them in relation to our family. Our pets are definitely part of our family and we love each one individually. We raised 5 'human' children and have 15 grandchildren. They are part of our extended family but right now, our immediate family are these pets that live with us day in and day out.

What you call your pets is not as important as the value you put on them. Love comes in many names.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 3:54PM
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I think it may depend on how you were raised. I grew up in the city but spent my childhood around show horses and dogs. They were all members of the families of the "parents" that "owned" them and were treated as such. When one died it was a sad, sad time and they were mourned. We had a British family as a neighbor for a while and they treated their beautiful dogs like farm animals. They got food but little attention and love. Seemed cruel to me at the time.

One thing I have learned reading this particular forum is that when an OP expects to get attacked they usually have an agenda. If they are really so secure in their beliefs they wouldn't care what other people think and wouldn't post about it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 4:47PM
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I dont think I have an agenda. And I am comfortable in my views - and because I am, I am not afraid to post a controversial topic. I just want to have another person's experience shared with me. I notice it is hard for people to have converstaion these days on any subject except for weather and traffic.

I dont fall in the category of your British neighbor. We love and play and spoil our dogs and dont ask any work in return. Although when they do funny things I regret I didnt get it on camera -- in hopes to get $100 prize from those TV shows. Even if it is just to cover the cost of food for a month. One of our dogs' name is Radar -- that's the name he was given by original owner b.c he had large stand up ears. He barks at the airplanes and runs and jumps as high as 6ft in the air trying to get them. Real airplanes. Is that not funny? Radar that barks at airplanes?

I dont ask for anything but a suggestion - how do you kindly handle situation / explain people that my dogs are my pets, not my children in a sense that I dont want to be called their mommy. We care for them, provide all that they need and more, and still we donate food to the shelter nearby and sometimes we have to take care of neighbor's dog and horses. But during interactions with people - at the pet stores, or not, whether or not they have pets of their own, - they insist to call me mommy. When you tell them "I am not" - they get offended. I dont force them to change their views, just to respect mine.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 5:37PM
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I don't know what the big fuss is about.

Just nod your head and be polite. There's no reason for a confrontation or holier-than-thou moment about what you call your dogs and whether someone calls you their Mommy. I don't see what your big issue is. There's no reason to tell someone that you're not their's socially awkward and weird.

You're talking as if you're at church and someone walked up to you and said that God doesn't exist. It's not that big a deal. You know what you're comfortable with; you know you don't call them your babies and you're not their mommy; what else is there to do? There's no reason to make a big stink about it when people say those things.

It seems to me that you're more concerned about making your feelings known on having pets than anything else. No one wants a lecture on why you're not their "Mommy".

And yes, you do have an agenda.

You are blowing up a non-issue into something it isn't.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:43PM
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I don't call my dogs and cat 'my babies' but if someone refers to them that way, I'm not offended. They are simply acknowledging (in their own way) that they know my pets are important to me and that I care for and protect them.

Smile and say 'thank you for the good wishes' and move on. Why be bothered with whether other folks use certain terms. It's the thought that counts, and no one has bad intentions. If you look for trouble it will find you. Accept the kindness you are being offered by friends and strangers. There are more serious things to worry over.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:21PM
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I guess the only time I would be offended at a remark a person makes is if it is intentionally meant to be offensive. The comments made to you were meant to be nice, not nasty.......whether you like how they said it or not. Not every human interaction needs to be a 'learning experience' or a chance for witty put-down.

I find the atmosphere to be stifling lately where people are admonished for remarks somebody else deems offensive. Believe me no matter what you say it is going to offend somebody somewhere. I'm tired of walking around with tape over my mouth for fear of offending somebody unintentionally and I'm beginning to resent it.

No, I don't call my pets fur babies either. But I love them passionately. I did have to smile when another poster said Brits don't treat their animals like family. Brits are extraordinarily fond of their animals and I could take my dog into a pub and eat a meal with the animals lounging at my feet. Try that in America. And my first husband was a farmer and his family did not believe in treating their 'working dog' like a member. It was not allowed in the house and it was fed nothing but left-overs. So, really, there are individual differences in any population.

I am a rural resident and so are my kids. My son owns several hundred acres and he doesn't even allow his dogs to live out their lives 'naturally running' anywhere they wish through the woods. If he did, the other farmers would be taking pot shots at them as soon as they started chasing cows as well as deer.

I don't know what kind of conversation you expected here since you put limits on who should participate and how. But since I don't have fur babies either I guess I am allowed to answer. I don't love my animals any less, even if I don't consider myself to be their mommy, but if somebody calls me that..........and they do quite just makes me smile. Who cares?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:04PM
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It sounds to me like you are just taking the term too literally. Is this upsetting to you because you have never had children? I guess I'm not really following why this is so offensive to you.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 11:06PM
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I don't get why you even care to post something so trivial. I don't call my pets my babies, but I do refer to myself as Mommy and DH as Daddy simply because that's the names I've given us for our pets. Actually not the cats because they could care less what our names are as long as there is food in the dish, but it's for the dogs. I ask one ..where's daddy?.. and he runs to the part of the yard where he is. I would think it strange to to use DH's first name. But I never call them my babies and no one I know ever called me their mommy.But I do have two human kids who do.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 2:19AM
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Sounds to me like you have dwelled on this in your mind so much that it is now a pet-peeve run amok.
I don't think you'll find anyone here who is as extremely offended as you are by others thinking your pets are your 'babies'.
Personally, I would not attempt to explain anything to anyone, because frankly it wouldn't change anything.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 9:21AM
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Jollyrd -- I never had children either.
Maybe that's why it doesn't feel good to us when other people refer our our pets as our "babies" or children.

What do I say?

I use humor, explaining, with a smile on my face, that we have pets instead of children because they are so much cheaper and don't talk back (except for our diva kitty, Lulu).

That works well for me.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 10:44AM
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You do realize, I hope that nobody really thinks you are the mommy of your dogs (unless, of course you are a dog - but then you wouldn't be writing.)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 11:20AM
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The parental instinct is very strong in most animals, including the human animal. This is why many of us are perfectly comfortable being referred to as our non-human animal companions' parents. We also aren't the only species who occasionally adopts babies outisde of our species as our own. Adoption is adoption, regardless of species. Again, it's instinct, and there's certainly nothing shameful in it.

If, for whatever reason, you are uncomfortable with the parental role, then petaloid has offered a very acceptable strategy for correcting what you are considering to be disquieting semantics. Playful humor can steer clear of most offense.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 11:47AM
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Explain to them that since you didn't really birth them, they are not your real children.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:07PM
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I think if I had someone trying to force me to say something I didn't believe, as the one person did on Mother's Day, then I'd be a bit annoyed as well. I think the OP wanted to see who else shares their beliefs, we all want to share with other human beings (and animals too), it helps to make us feel accepted even if we are confident in ourselves and our beliefs and how to deal with people who respond without regard for our beliefs.

I used to volunteer when I was a teenager and my parents thought it was a waste of time since I wasn't getting paid and while I still felt it was worthwhile it upset me. They were entitled to their opinion but they spoke their opinion and could not talk objectively about my volunteering without showing they believed it was worthless effort.

My best friend, bless her soul, had a mother who was very insistent that ONLY her children call her mom. She would even accept her first name but did not allow any of her children's friends to call her mom. We all have our peculiarities. When I read the OP's original post I think of people who walk up to a pregnant woman and want to know all about the baby and to feel the baby. Or people who come up and pet/pick up your dog/puppy without being sure it was ok with you. Its not a big deal to many of us if others refer to our pets as furbabies but to have someone pushing for you to acknowledge they are your baby and demonstrate it (its almost like someone saying their friend can sing well, go on sing! Come on, you have such a beautiful voice, sing!) then I think they are stepping on the line (or going over if they don't let it go).

I'm of two minds when it comes to calling pets our babies. I call them babies, furbabies, sweetheart, honey and all sorts of affectionate names but I treat them like animals (who I do love to give affection and spoil a bit). I look at my cats and see animals that love to scratch (so I provide lots of acceptable options) and sit in windows (I pushed cabinets/shelves together so they could get into the downstairs window) and chase/kill mice (I encourage them to chase and catch any mouse they find in the house but I'll intervene so they don't kill it, sadly I was too late the other day). I realize they have needs as animals, actually I believe we humans have animal needs we tend to shun/suppress, so while I do love them in my human way I understand, respect and honor their animalness by trying to fulfill their animal needs.

If someone calls our new pups my babies or me their mom I'll sometimes say "They are my pack and I am their leader".

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:21PM
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How about: "The second one's snout was so big, they had to do an emergency C-section" :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 1:20PM
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I think this is one of those cultural things-- it's become so ingrained in our culture that people say "mommy", "daddy", and "baby" in regard to pets without thinking much about it.

In regard to some of the examples of parenting of human children, I'd say the terms "mommy" and "daddy" are used a little loosely there too, but I digress.

It may bug the heck out of you when people say that, but if they are relative strangers to you, it's best to just politely nod and let it go- you'll look like a high-in-the-instep jerk if you correct them, whether you are or not. If it's someone who you know a little better and see on a regular basis, be gently honest with them that you don't think of your pets in a child/parent sense. The key is to be nice about it and not shame anyone for their choice of words.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 2:42PM
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lilly316 - so you dont think half of the posts here are trivial? com'on!

Thanks to sweetchastity, and petaloid, elly-nj. I just wanted to see if me, my husband and my parents-in-law are a rare exception in the universe.

I try to be nice, keep it simple and give plain response in first place. Those who know us, dont call them our babies or dont argue when I correct them. But this time it just did not work with this person.

I dont call myself or my husband 'mommy' or 'daddy' when I speak to dogs or about our dogs. So when the person was INSISTING to congratulate me as a mother on Mother's Day -- I defended the true fact that I was not a mother of anyone living. The worst part was that he said "I heard you call them your babies" - that is just making stuff up, he NEVER could have heard me say that. So his insisting was just lying and forcing my reaction. If that offends you or anyone - well , you first offended me by rejecting truth and facts. I only call my mother 'mother'. I call some of my friends 'mama' because they are older and wiser and I like to take their advice, and I never heard them oppose it.

I am not a thin of skin and I can stand up for what I hold to be truth - esp if you try to push your incorrect views of ME on ME. I think this country is falling apart because people are afraid to speak up, express their true believes and stand up for them, because they 'dont want to hurt anyone's feelings'. But it's OK for you to hurt my feelings or force your views on me?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 4:27PM
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Mountain out of a molehill, imho.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 6:15PM
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I have to admit that the day I adopted my cat I told her I didn't know a lot about cats but I promised her I would try to be the best "mom" I could be. I take my mom job very seriously, no matter what it is called. We are a family.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 7:26PM
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After a weekend trip with one of the reservist with which I worked, the lieutenant that went on the trip with Marsha came to me and asked if we could talk in private.

He was new, but knew Marsha was not married. All during the trip, he said she told him stories of her babies, how well they sat at the table to eat, how nicely they gave her room in bed, did not fight over toys, and never ever backtalked.

He was genuinely confused, since he could not determine exactly how to converse with her about her children.

He was a bit peeved when I could not stifle a chuckle. "Her babies are miniature poodles", I explained.

"But!" he protested. "She told me how proud she was of their table manners, how she got really good deals on their outfits, and how she took them to preschool!"

It took me a bit of explaining about how she actually did feed them at the table with her at meal time. They sat on stools and ate from the same plates she did. They slept with her and they really did go to preschool(doggy day care) when whe went to work.

I liked Marsha, but I never, ever spoke of animals with her.

I have two dogs presently. One is a guard dog. He is very aggressive, so I am his master. Period. He gets attention, work, play, and affection. All done with strict rules. He is always kept subordinant. He never precedes me outside or inside. I seldom have to give a command if he does something wrong----like get on the bed. The second he sees me---down he goes. I have never hit him. I rehabilitated him and his aggression solely by treating him like a pack leader dog would have treated him.

The off shoot of that is if someone baby talks to him---he gets mad.

The other dog is his buddy. We got her to be his buddy. He even picked her from the lineup. She is his total opposite. Initially, she had zero self confidence. Cowered at everyone and everything. Except him. It took me several months of ignoring her cowering when I corrected him. In order to raise her self esteem, I continually praise her, let her on my bed or in my lap when in my recliner. I use a soft high voice---opposite of the harsh strong voice I use with him. They now 'get it'. She is doing better, he is happy to have a subordinant, and I learned to work with a scared to death dog.

They are our dogs. We have children and grandchildren to be/have babies.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 9:01PM
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>When you tell them "I am not" - they get offended. I don't force them to change their views, just to respect mine.

Good point, jollyrd. I understand your annoyance. I don't appreciate the kind of pressure that person put on you, and I understand your wish to have a polite but effective way to dispense with that kind of projecting, or whatever it is. Maybe it's just too irresistible to view women with pets through a maternal lens.

I, too, have had my dogs called "your babies," and I've laughed and said something like, "Oh no, I have two of those in college. These are much easier." Similarly, I would not refer to a woman's belly as her "baby," or to her as a "mommy" unless she indicated it was appropriate. You never know! It seems to me a matter of courtesy.

I suggest finding a humorous way to deflect that kind of thing.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:02PM
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I often tease my 8 year old that her "brother" (a cat) wants him to feed her. She always responds with a "he's not my brother, he's a cat!!"

I think it is just people being silly -- I hope no one really believes that their pets are real children. I think it is totally strange to congratulate you on Mother's Day and I think your response was fine -- keep it kind since they obviously mean you no harm by it.

By the way, I have two friends who insist on "celebrating" their dog's birthdays -- whatever floats your boat!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 9:04AM
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Thanks for understanding. I also dont like questions like "so, when are you going to have a baby?"

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 5:16PM
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OK Jolly baby --- you made your point. You are very sensitive about not being able to procreate and you want to blame pet owners. Not being able to have human babies is not all that bad. Just know that many are and shouldn't be able to so just chill out. (Oh no, I am dating myself.)

Just live with the fact that people actually compare the joy of human babies to animal babies and how can that be a bad thing? I think you just need a group hug.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 5:28PM
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jollyrd -- I don't like questions about why I don't have human children either. Very insensitive and nobody's business.

Carmen -- we do just live with it, but it still hurts at times.

((virtual hug))

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 3:11PM
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How about when you go to a vet these days, and you are in the waiting room and hear "Fido Smith?" "Fido Smith?"

Our dogs are now getting our last names.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 3:27PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Hey, I'm down with that!! I'm happy to give my animals my last name. I want to make sure I get the right one back again when I lend them out!!!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:19PM
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Wow, I think you're making too much out of something so small. Nobody thinks their pets are really their babies, its an expression of how much they love them. When they refer to your pets as your babies they are assuming you love them like they love theirs. Perhaps we don't love them as much as we do our real babies but there isn't a thing wrong with referring to them this way. I think it is rude to correct a peer over something not meant with malice. Maybe you're overly sensitive about it for whatever reason.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 8:28PM
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jollyrd, when I read your original post I wondered why anyone would worry about something so trivial. One of your later posts stated that you are not the mother of anyone living. Maybe I'm off base, but that seems to imply that you are the mother of someone not living. If that's the case, I would understand your feeling that you don't want your pets elevated to the position of a child you lost or even to the dream of a child who never came. And it's also a possibility that the insistence of some that your pets are your children are a lame attempt to try and make you feel the pets somehow make up for your loss. People tend to want to make others feel better and don't always realize that the things they say come off more as a trivialization of the situation than as a comfort.

I love my pets dearly, but they are not the same as my children, nor could they ever replace the babies I miscarried. If my suspicions are correct, your feelings are very normal and understandable.

I apologize if I read too much into your post.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:17AM
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Originally posted by gina w:
How about when you go to a vet these days, and you are in the waiting room and hear "Fido Smith?" "Fido Smith?"

I get that at the vet's, too! I always laugh and say "we're not related, we just live together".

(Actually, my cats have always had their own surnames....)

I'm a single woman in my 40's, with no children, so I get the "mommy" comment fairly often, too. I usually try to gauge not only the intention of the speaker, but how much effort it's worth to correct them. Frankly, there are so many other things that annoy me in the world, something like that isn't worth the agita of correcting (usual) a stranger.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 4:11PM
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It cracks me up when the vet tech calls out for my pooch with our surname. You never know how many dogs or cats are in the reception room with the same name. About ten years ago, every other dog in our town had the name Bear. And frankly, I don't care to have my full name called out in offices because it's a breach of privacy, really. So, what else are they going to do to identify their patients and not have four dogs walking to the exam room?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 8:46PM
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Fori is not pleased

My cat always takes my spouse's last name, because cats can be embarrassing.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 1:24PM
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    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Well, I had to revisit this post to tell you all that I am indeed a Mother now. We had a baby when we decided to have him, and all grandparents are super happy. And I am very happy to celebrate Mother's Day. Our dogs are still our dogs. Yesterday, I gave bath to my son, then after that - washed two dogs, in the same bathtub, but I had to scrub that bathtub afterwards. Then I took a good shower. Life is good. Thank you all for reading.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 2:46PM
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I always find that when people react too strongly to another person's comment there IS something much larger at issue.

I've been attacked by addressing a 'Ms' as Mrs and I don't need to tell you what her issues were.
I've asked someone about an item in the store assuming that she worked there, and she attacked me verbally, basically telling me that she doesn't work there.

There are many examples of people over-reacting, which just seems that 'issues' are rearing their ugly head.

You never know what upsets people, but there are specific triggers that do, based on their 'issues'...and EVERYBODY has them.

As long as you take good care of your pets, nobody cares if you call them babies or not.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:41AM
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well, I don't have the other "reactions" you describe here. I am usually the person asking for help in the grocery store and I am happy to help others -- even though I never worked in a grocery. And it is not me who calls them "babies"- so this comment is not applicable -- "nobody cares if you call them babies or not." What I care is that no one should call them "your babies" in my face, and even further insist that they are "babies" to me.

I just simply find it bad manner for people to imply that me and my husband are making puppies in our bedroom.

It would be the same bad manner for me to force anyone to get into Christmas spirit just because they live in the Bible Belt.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Cats being the size they are - they are about the size and weight of a human baby and something about those big loveable eyes looking up at you does arouse a nurturing instinct. There is I think something to that....and I do call my cats baby boy or baby girl sometimes. But I dont call myself their parent! They are my cats and I am their human (which btw is a somewhat subservient position - it is they who rule the roost.)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:02AM
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We are very happy to hear about the birth of your child. Best wishes for a Happy Holiday.

This post was edited by oregpsnow on Tue, Dec 11, 12 at 20:32

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Well, as parents of 4 and grandparents of 18 (human babies) we still call our pets by lovey names. Who really cares? As most people agree, people are not just parents of children or pet owners - they are both. Children and pets make up a family so what you call them seems to be nobody's business. It always amazes me that there are actually people who spend their lives waiting to be offended.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:32AM
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"I just simply find it bad manners for people to imply that me and my husband are making puppies in our bedroom."

I promise you that approximately 100% of the people who have referred to the dogs as your "babies" were in no way implying that you and your husband were biologically creating puppies in the bedroom. They just weren't. So any response you make to them with the intent of showing them the error of their ways is going to be pointless. Because (1) that isn't what they meant, so they'll just be confused, and (2) you're just going to make them uncomfortable about something that is really your issue -- not theirs.

When I read your OP I was thinking your life was sort of a counterculture, all creatures are created equal existence. One where humans and animals are companions to one another, but neither is seen as having more value or primacy than the other. If that were the case, I think a valid response would be something like "oh, he's not my baby. We're all equals in our house", said with a nice, dreamy, hippie smile.

But your later posts tell me there is something very different at work. I don't know what it is, but it is something you might explore personally. After all, we can only control our own reactions to things -- not others'.

ETA: DOH! I just realized this was an old thread. Congrats on the new arrival.

This post was edited by jakabedy on Wed, Dec 12, 12 at 12:43

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Re. vets, I read a rather cynical article a while back that veterinarians use the Mama/Daddy reference to envoke warm fuzzy feelings of attachment to get people to shell out more money. I seriously doubt that though, maybe some vets are that calculating, but probably not most.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 3:00PM
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I wonder if people who have adopted children would be so horribly offended if someone mistakenly referred to them as "their children"?

This post was edited by Navin-R-Johnson on Sun, Dec 16, 12 at 12:01

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 3:21PM
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Navin - very nice post, and you stopped yourself just in time before ....

What started this post is what still continues to be the issue, years later, and even after I have had a child. A person referred to my dogs as my babies in order to congratulate me on the Mother's Day. Now, com'on, that is taking it too far. Even as I pointed out that (at that time) I was not qualified to be congratulated for Mother's Day since I was not yet a mother at that time, the person continued to insist to call me "mother of your dogs" - he was the one who made more issue of this and made more mess of the relationsip that I wanted to.

Just consider this. If times comes when we cannot afford to have two dogs (food, meds, treats, license fees, etc) - it will be a hard decision, but we will make sure to find them a good home. And hopefully our family and friends will understand and support us. Can you see us doing same with our kids? And can you see what any normal human being will think of us for even considering this? I hope you get the point that pets are not kids for moral reasons and everything stems from that.

From the Christian point of view, if God created men in his image - then we cannot have dogs as our offsprings.

From the science point of view, two people cannot create a dog, just like two dogs cannot create a human. Try it as you may, - it won't happen.

In an effort to bring more balance and laughter to the post -- the new issue to deal with now is that of Santa and our child. Very well-meaning Christians who otherwise criticize all things-un-Christ-like, continue to come to me and ask me if "Santa is going to visit [insert name of the child]?" I tell them that I am not aware of Santa's plans and I am not facilitating any encounter between him and my son. But that parents and Grandparents will be there to celebrate the birth of Christ and pour love over our child, with reasonable presents from ourselves. Oh, they get so weird to hear that I somehow figured out that Santa is a fictional character and would rather stick to the true meaning of Christmas. Now , I don't even try to fight that fight. Too silly and they get that very fast that it is pointless to tell me otherwise.

Bottom line, I stick to my principles - daily, and I am glad that my husband and I talked about them before marriage to make sure we are on the same page. Life is much more easy when you have one person to trust and rely on in making small and large decisions.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:21PM
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pets are not kids for moral reasons and everything stems from that.

Wait, are you calling people who don't mind being referred to as pet parents, or who refer to each other as mommy/daddy when addressing their pets, immoral??

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 4:34PM
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I think you may just need to lighten up about some things. I am not married and have dated the same man for 12 years. Given you are a strong christian, I assume you may question my decision. I get questions all the time why I am not married. I don't get offended. I know that too many marriage means the world to them or how things should happen. If someone gets too pushy I change the subject, make a joke, or walk away.

For people calling you a dog mom, well in a way you are their mom. I don't mind when people call me the mom to my pets, but I don't call myself a cat or dog mom. However, I would kind of agree that you should only get cards from people you know and they should guage when a card is needed. However, is it just the person does that for everyone they know and may feel guilty if they don't do it for you? Either way, it is just easier to take the road that the other person won't understand you or your believes and to let it go. Why argue about something so silly like being a doggy mommy?

Also, if this is the same person offending you again and again, have you told them you are getting offended? That you really do want a relationship (friendship, etc.) with them, but this topic just needs to be dropped?

For your comment about not giving up a kid like you would a dog. Either way it is a hard choice for most people, likely an unbearable one when it comes to a child. However, a person should give up a child as well if they cannot meet the childs needs. It is a horrible decision for anyone to make, but it sometimes is the right choice. I know many families that have adopted beautiful children whose biological parents were unable to take care of them and they have much better live because of the hard choice their biological parent(s) made.

For the Santa issue. I hope you understand that many are not religious, but may respect your values none the less. I am not a very religious person, but I am very respectful of others and those who are strong believers. Therefore, to handle Santa without being offensive to non-religious people, just say that you feel Christmas is a religious only holiday and you do not celebrate Santa. Leave it at that much information, no need to go further.

The response you put down, I think many who celebrate Santa would find it offensive and not everyone is completely political correct. Most people do not mean to offend you and if you state you only celebrate chrismas as a religious only holidy without santa, many will feel embarassed they asked you that question without you or them saying anything else.

You may also need to teach your kids how to deal with Santa unless you plan to home school. There are some resources online available for that as I know since I found a number of links for one of my friends.

Same with if you decide to not trick or treat and celebrate halloween. I have different friends who are very religious who choose not to celebrate halloween. I really do appreciate the ones who say we choose not to celebrate for religious reasons and leave it at that. Short and sweet.

Others go into a long explanation as to why halloween is bad or evil. The problem in providing a long explanation is that it almost always makes something into a debate that should not be debated. I cannot argue with someone who says that for religious reasons they choose not to celebrate. Simple. Done.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 5:54PM
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This thread would be a perfect example if you were trying to explain to someone how someone who takes things 'too literally' thinks.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 11:58PM
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I think this country is in a mess it is now is mostly because too many people for too long time have lived too long trying to be nice, politically correct, etc like many of you suggest here, instead of sticking to truth and values and principles.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 2:28PM
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or maybe it's "in a mess" because of people reacting to well-intentioned trivialities with something like road rage & moral indignation.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 3:48PM
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I think this country is in a mess it is now is mostly because too many people for too long time have lived too long trying to be nice, politically correct, etc like many of you suggest here, instead of sticking to truth and values and principles.

And it would, of course, be YOUR "truth, values and principles" which everyone should stick to?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 12:38PM
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I was the second reply to this post two years ago and my opinion still stands:

"One thing I have learned reading this particular forum is that when an OP expects to get attacked they usually have an agenda. If they are really so secure in their beliefs they wouldn't care what other people think and wouldn't post about it."

As I get older I have learned to pay less attention to other people and more to my own thoughts and actions. Heavens knows I have lots of work to do on myself but it is much more productive and satisfying than waiting to be offended by someone else.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 3:05PM
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I also don't see what the big deal is with what you call your dogs. So what if you do or don't call them your babies or your children, your monkeys, your paininthea**ses or what?

I call mine babies yet I take them on walks and hikes, we play dog sports, we do dog fun activities like nose work, treibball, we do puzzle toys, we run in the yard, we dig in the sand, we swim in the reservoir, we train, whatever. I treat them like dogs. What difference does it make what I call them?

I treat my parrots like parrots but call them puppies. I call everything puppies. Doesn't mean I treat everything like puppies though or think that's what they really are.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 5:07AM
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