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Pets. Do we own them, or do they own us?

Updated on January 17, 2017
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As Seinfeld said "If aliens are watching this through telescopes, they're gonna think

the dogs are the leaders. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume was in charge?"

My own pet story; and what about yours?

For most of my life I have done "what I had to do". I am of the generatio that was infused with what our duties are, rather than what our wishes prompted us to do.

After a lifetime of this, I came to a situation where I was free to go and come as I pleased, where I can truly live the way I would want to. Even my old faithful cat was gone. I was very sad at her passing, but it did mean that I had no strings tying me down.



They often get first choice of seating!
They often get first choice of seating! | Source

Then I went, and got myself a dog.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love that dog to bits, and she is a gentle dog, attached to me and ready to do as I say at any moment.

I only have one problem. She has a bad case of 'Separation Anxiety', and she gets into real distress if left at home on her own. What this means in effect is that unless I can take her with me wherever I go, then I cannot go.

I have found myself opting out of many activities I used to enjoy before. I do it willingly, yet I cannot help wonder why?

If I had grown up children or a husband or a flatmate, would I put up with such limitations? I doubt it; in fact I can be reasonably sure that I would not.

So what is it that is in my head, that triggers this kind of loyalty to my pet? Have I gone soft in the head or what? Will someone please shed some light on this for me?

Pets are everywhere, and they are big business. Look at a screen, movie, TV , computer screen and you will see cute cats, puppies, birds on bird perches, fish in aquaria. We have transported them into space and they are part of the stories we tell ourselves. We used to eat them and sadly, still use them for scientific research in some instances.

Here she is. . .

Goldie, at the front, letting Jazzie share her bed.
Goldie, at the front, letting Jazzie share her bed. | Source

I think I've got it.

I have thought long and hard about this, and I have come up with some answers. I suspect that there are many more; but these are my reasons for keeping a pet.

My dog loves walking and running. Naturally she prefers to do it at her own pace, but if I take her out on the leash, she does not sulk and refuse to budge. She walks with me as I have taught her and whether we walk for 10 minutes, 50 mins or more, she shows me that she is happy, by the way she parades her tail, by the bright eyes and the eager look on her face.

My dog loves food, and so long as her food smells like good food, and looks like good food, she guzzles it to the last skerrick, and leaves the plate clean. She even picks up any spills on the mat, around her plate!

My dog loves my company, and whether she is snuggled up against my knees, or dozing on the back seat of the car, she seems content. She doesn't complain of the heat or of the cold, that she's hungry or thirsty, but she always shows her gratitude when I see to these basic needs of hers.

My dog shows me that she loves me, and I love her too.

As a wise soul once said to me - I had to have another beating heart in the house, and my dog is that lovely, loving beating heart which keeps mine beating in rhythm.



© 2014 MarieLB

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    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 18 months ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hello Vink21778, Thank you for stopping by and leaving us your comments. I am so glad you liked what you read. As you can imagine I dote on my dog, but she is a good dog. Obedient, clean and so loveable.

      I had a quick look at your page. I will be coming to read some of your work too.

    • vink21778 profile image

      Vink 18 months ago from India

      Very well composed.I like the end section ,I appreciate your concern for animals.Your work is praiseful.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 22 months ago from YAMBA NSW

      Between you, me and the gate post I do believe that they own us more than we own them. But that might frighten some people off, so I keep mum about it. But what a delicious association it is with pets, each gives us something different, something that no one else could. And that is called Love in the Moment. Thank you for leading me to think more about this.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 22 months ago from State of Confussion

      And to answer your initial question the answer is yes to both. I have always had pets. Fish, little rodents, dogs, and the most popular have been cats. In fact that has been passed on to my daughter. She wanted two pets. A cat which she has and a dog that had been in the works for about a year. Then one day a new orange kitten catches her eye and that made two.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 2 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hello Helga,

      Thank you so much for reading and I am very glad you enjoyed it. My apologies for taking so long to respond - have been away from a computer for the last couple of weeks or so.

    • profile image

      HELGA 2 years ago

      Had to laugh at the title. So true. I think they are the masters, but beautiful ones!

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 2 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hello Marion W,

      I have just come home from a few days away, and my old faithful, Mama Butcher Bird was right there on the step of my back door! I felt awful cause I had no mince - except frozen . Now all my little boxes have been refilled with fresh lamb mince, ready for tomorrow morning.

      As you can see from the many comments we are in good company ! Many other animal lovers who are very much like you and me!

      Thank you for joining us in singing the praises of pets and wildlife.

    • profile image

      Marion W 2 years ago

      Hi, loved your article about pets. So true! They do take over our lives, but give so much back, they're worth it!.

      I also loved reading about feeding so many critters. We feed the birds too here, but we give them seeds for wild birds.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hi Petra,

      I am just as guilty. The way I justify it is that I could never spoil the kids cause I don't think it is good for them, so I spoil the pets!!LOL!! Thanks for getting in touch.

    • profile image

      Petra 3 years ago

      Read your article. I do so agree with all you said. I laugh at myself but I do spoil my cats rotten. But I enjoy that also.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hi Tracy Lee. Same here. Thanks for your comments.

    • profile image

      Tracy Lee 3 years ago

      Pets make my life worthwhile.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      How wise Marianne. Many are beginning to realise that truth. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      Marianne 3 years ago

      We never own another living being. We are honored by their devotion.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Thank you Fran. Glad you liked the article.

    • profile image

      Fran 3 years ago

      Very perceptivce article. Good one.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      I quite agree Teresa. Thanks for reading my article. Come back soon and read some more. There are so many interesting articles on HubPages!

    • profile image

      Teresa 3 years ago

      Loved the article. It does bring up such an important point about pets doesn,t it?

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Ha!Ha!! "Cat is top Dog!" That is so well put Shauna. I shall have to remember that phrase.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading the article.

    • profile image

      Shauna 3 years ago

      Sounds like the cat my parents have. He is top dog. . . .so to speak.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hello Sue Bolt. I quite agree. They are far more clever than we give them credit for! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Sue Bolt 3 years ago

      I think they are soooo clever. they get to own us much more than we know.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Ha!Ha!! #Ramona Fanta. I sure don't know, and was hoping someone would give me some answers!

    • profile image

      ramona fanta 3 years ago

      So true. who knows where the truth lies huh?

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hi #Kalafina, your comment made me a bit sad, to hear that you cannot walk. I can see that you are not dwelling on what you cannot do, but forging ahead with what you can. Fantastic attitude. I wish you better times ahead.

      The bit about your Schnauzer-Yorkshire made me laugh. How like a dog. Somehow a cat knows it has to fit in on the side or near the feet, but a dog will spread out right in the middle [if you let it!LOL!!].

      It is so beautiful to have a companion pet that is always glad to be near you and with you. No human can hope to beat that!

      My dog would be quite distressed if expected to sleep anywhere where she could not see a familiar face, and that is why I started my Pet Place Yamba. I get many people who say the same thing about their pets. The kennels do a great job, but some pets just cannot fit in there. I enjoy having them and so does Goldie my spoodle.

      Thanks for stopping by. I will come for a visit to your site soon,

    • Kalafina profile image

      Kalafina 3 years ago

      Being chronically ill has left me with a new appreciation for our dog. I am alone most of the day (I cannot work) so having him there makes a big difference. He's gotten rather deaf in his old age and snores with his eyes open. We end up clashing over where the best sleeping spot is on the bed. I find it amazing how his puppy dog eyes make me feel guilty for moving him off my spot. He's a Schnauzer-Yorkshire Terrier who takes my queen bed for his own and sits by my side when I have a fall.

      To me he is a part of my family who will be missed dearly. Although at times it does get a bit overwhelming when we leave the country for several weeks. He would never last in any doggy kennel/boarding but luckily, he has several admirers who love watching him.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      I am glad that I could return the good vibes #J - R - Fr13m9n. Again, I fall back on what I grew up with I guess. One returns in kind.

      May your successes grow and be a source of contentment.

    • J - R - Fr13m9n profile image

      Jane Ramona Rynkiewicz Frieman 3 years ago from Morris County, New Jersey

      I am touched by your compliments, which raises my serotonin levels, wrapping me in a cloak of internal and external calm. I thank you for making me feel this way. Good luck in your future writing endeavors.

    • MarieLB profile image
      Author

      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      J - R - Fr13m9n What I like most about this site is that I feel that I have joined a community, and there are many community-service minded people here. I am amazed at how readily some respond with warnings, explanations, advice on how to proceed. . . It is very heart-warming and I am finding that my motives for joining are changing. Whereas before I joined because I needed to, now I am here because I want to. It is even more enjoyable when one 'meets' people like J - R - Fr13m9n and get the feeling that one is on the same page, even if only briefly. I have very little experience in writing this style, and I am no match for those who obviously excel here. I have never written journals, in fact my diaries are quite bare, with a few hieroglyphics here and there, that are only intelligible to me. I am wary of pouring my heart out on paper, I guess!

      I feel that I have now acquired a lovely group of friends, ones that can easily express themselves and help me with my quest to express myself.

      Thank you J - R - Fr13m9n. No doubt I will learn much from your writings.

    • J - R - Fr13m9n profile image

      Jane Ramona Rynkiewicz Frieman 3 years ago from Morris County, New Jersey

      [For most of my life I have done "what I had to do". I am of that generation, that was infused with what our duties are rather than what our wishes prompted us to do.] This phrase you had written at the beginning of your hub is very familiar to me. I can relate to it. My mother raised me in that manner also.

      I like your style of writing; it exibits a feeling stemming from personal experience. In a manner of speaking about your stryle is a style usually recorded in a journal. I have been writing journals for innumerable years and I find that the activity helps me place a perspective on life and accentuates my creativity.

      Good luck. You will like it on HubPages!

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      So true about dogs, Laura Knipp. Dogs need humans, and humans need dogs, except that some humans don't know it yet!

    • Laura Knipp profile image

      Laura Knipp 3 years ago from Virginia Beach

      While they are intelligent to a point, birds are not as smart as dogs and they need a lot less to make them happy. They do not need people or an alpha group leader to exist is the point I was trying to make. Now in captivity, they need socialization as far as getting their needs, but most birds that are in captivity can make do with other birds to fill those gaps and not necessarily people. Dogs on the other hand really need to have the alpha in charge, as if not, they either will become the alpha or they will give up the need to exist. Birds are not like that--even parrots.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Oh, Marie....You have practically written about me! I retired early due to health issues and brought my very first pet into my life nearly ten years ago. She promptly took it over (with my blessing). Haha. I have lots of hubs about life with Puppy Girl, so you can check those out if you're interested, but suffice it to say--although I've been quick to learn other lessons, I was slow in the pet area.

      Now she and I both have health issues, so I stay home a lot anyway, but when I go somewhere I try to time it so I'll be back within two hours--three, max. We are both happier with this routine!

      Voted Up and Interesting

      Jaye

      P.S. Your dogs are beautiful.

      P.S. 2 - Here's a note for Laura. Research over the past few years into the brainpower and reasoning ability of birds provides evidence those little 'birdbrains' are very intelligent. So...actually, they do need more than food and water. Especially parrots.

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hi Lynn,

      I have no doubt that you would love and cherish your dogs. I also think that your well-loved dog gives you much love and caring. I think dogs cannot help themselves. They love because that is what makes them tick.

    • MarieLB profile image
      Author

      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hi Lynn,

      I have no doubt that you would love and cherish your dogs. I also think that your well-loved dog gives you much love and caring. I think dogs cannot help themselves. They love because that is what makes them tick.

    • profile image

      Lynn 3 years ago

      There are times when I wonder if they own us or vice versa. Who gets to lay around, sleep all day if they wish, yet who get their love and undying affection ??I know that I love and respect my animals (dogs) yet I look for something to be returned to me at times. Does this makes me a good or bad person, I really feel that it's a 2 way street that must be travelled. We respect and love each other in our own ways..

    • MarieLB profile image
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      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      Hi Laura Knipp, That was great reading. You seem to know a great deal about dogs, and you gave some hints on handling a dog that wont stay alone at home. I have tried many methods and none have been a success so far. My dog is a Spoodle and a breeder of Spoodles tells me that Separation Anxiety is common with Spoodles. There is also the fact that she came from a shelter and may have 'lost' her family one or more times.

      As I said earlier, she is a very gentle and sweet tempered dog, but gets highly distressed if left alone for anything more than an hour at the most.

      I will be trying out your method, and will report in a week or so, as to how it goes.

    • Laura Knipp profile image

      Laura Knipp 3 years ago from Virginia Beach

      Dogs are pack animals, unlike cats. So dogs want to do all they can to please the alpha (you). But if you have different breeds of dogs, a cat, and birds, then you are in some serious issues. Birds do not need comfort--they just need food and water. They do not think on the same level as mammals, as their brains only pick up on the necessities for survival. Once that is taken care of, they may allow for interaction--but the interaction is more for your benefit than theirs.

      Cats are independent creatures (as they often are solitary in the wild as well). Only large cats in Africa/Asia will be pack hunters out of necessity for larger game. But house cats are very independent--no need to get more than one, as they only socialize when breeding. Granted if you have many cats that they will socialize with each other more--but only out of necessity for space. Cats own you in an essence, as you are not their alpha. They do not look at you as the master or owner. They only deal with you if they want something.

      Dogs are very much owned by you--the alpha. And if you have a large and small breed of dog, as well as other animals, the small dog may get stressed. Dogs want to please you at all times. But dogs have huge emotions that other pets do not have because of this pack mentality. And small dogs are more emotional than others.

      There are ways to get your dog over you not being there. And you need to do it now before it is too late. Here are some suggestions:

      1. When you leave to go anywhere, do not make any fuss about it. Do not prepare the same way every time. Dogs are smart and pick up on certain clues. For example, before you leave, you may take them out one last time to do their business before you leave. So instead take them out 30 min. before you leave instead of right before. Or lets say you always put your keys in one place and always pick up your keys last before you leave. Then change the time when you pick up your keys before you leave. All of these are cues that make the dog more stressed before you actually do leave.

      2. When you leave, do not make a commotion and say "Be good" before leaving. Just leave.

      3. If they have serious anxiety, take a shirt or something that you wear a lot and sweat in, and put it in a plastic bag. Just before you leave, take it out and put it somewhere central to they space where you normally sit in the house. Dogs have an acute sense of smell. The smell of your odor will last for hours and may make them feel more at ease knowing that your smell has not left.

      4. If all else fails, get a dog sitter.

    • MarieLB profile image
      Author

      MarieLB 3 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      I had hoped that someone would negate the fear that I expressed in my last paragraph! What happened yesterday seems to add weight to that question I put there! OMG!!

      Yesterday I had to feed many mouths. The problem was that if I fed one before the other, spats might become the order of the day. So, I prepared three bowls of food. I gave one to the kitten on top of the kitchen counter, the second to Zelda, a mini Maltese cutie with great personality, and the big bowl to my Goldie, outside the kitchen door. Phew!! There. It was good to see them all tucking in.

      But wait, there's more! In my hand I had a few balls of fresh mince for the Butcher Birds, and there were three of them waiting.

      By the time I had finished feeding the birds, the dogs and the kitten had cleaned their plates clean, and were soon spread out around me on the office floor, while I thumped the keys on the keyboard!

      I