Article: neglecting and abandoning your pets when you have a baby - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-02-2013, 03:44 PM
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I really dislike this woman.  To me she represents selfish, self-centered, and clannish traits that contribute to a lot of misery in the world.

 

It's all too common that people dump and neglect their animals once they have a human baby.  This is what's wrong with pet ownership:  we rip them from their own families - their own mothers, usually as babies, usually too young - then once we have our own human families they often become just a nuisance and relegated to fourth class status.  This dog deserves way better than this sorry excuse for a human being.  And her kids are getting the message for how to view animals too.  I hope she gets this back as a dependent old person - people are disgusted with her, yell at her, and neglect and resent caring for her basic needs - she's richly earned it. 

 

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The One Thing No One Tells You Before You Have Kids: Don't Get a Dog

 

...A puppy! Man, I loved this puppy...

Velvel quickly became the center of our lives. Weekends consisted of taking him to the dog run or the dog beach or the dog park. I developed a very specific, high-pitched, raunchy voice for Velvel, because he had a lot to say. Remember when there was that big dog food scare? We freaked and started spending Sundays cooking huge batches of homemade dog food that filled our apartment with the disgusting aroma of chicken livers, broccoli, and bone meal. Velvel watched TV on the couch with us every night and slept on our bed. Sometimes I let him sit in the front passenger seat of the car and I took the back...

Then I got pregnant...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A friend of mine once told me that before he had a kid, he would have run into a burning building to save his cats. Now that he has a kid, he would happily drown the cats in the bathtub if it would help his son take a longer nap. Here is how I feel about that statement: Velvel, avoid the bathroom.

It’s not that I don’t love my dog. It’s just that I don’t love my dog. And I am not alone. A very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who had a dog and then had kids now wishes they had never got the dog. This is a near universal truth, even for parents with just one child, though I have more...

...Sometimes Velvel just whines. (I’m no dog whisperer, but this might be because he’s not getting any attention.) Other times I take him for a walk—it’s such a nice night for a stroll! You actually are a pretty good dog, Vel!—only to have him poop on himself. Like, he poops, and some of that poop gets stuck on his fur. Before we had kids, this was at least an occasion to give him a nice, calming sponge bath. Some warm water, a wash cloth, and soap would do the trick. Now I grab a pair of scissors and hack off a clump of his hair. All clean!

Did I mention he sheds? This is not his fault, exactly. But who else to blame when the new baby is covered in dog hair, or the older kids are making gagging noises while watching Jake and the Never Land Pirates because “there’s something in my mouth.”

There’s also all the other stuff, like having to walk him every day, and the fact that he loves to start a manic barking fit just as one of the kids is about to fall asleep. (We bought one of those collars that shoots “a harmless burst” of citronella at his face every time he barks. It worked for two days.)

Recently I took Velvel for his annual checkup. He’s 13, does not get enough (any) exercise, and has gained a fair amount of weight in the past few years, as we’ve started doling out the dog treats quite liberally because it’s the only thing that shuts him up. The vet ran some blood tests and called with the results a few days later. Velvel’s liver levels are a little off, she told me, but why don’t we try medicine first before discussing other options. The vet delivered the news gently, as if I might start sobbing at any moment. All I could think was, “I can’t remember if she said liver or kidney.” And then the baby spit up and I had to go...

There are many lessons I’ve learned from my parents, but one in particular I wish I had followed. They didn’t get a dog until my sister and I were grown. They loved him like a dog should be loved until the day he died. He never got less cute to them. I never heard them yell, “GOD WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS UNDER FOOT?” They never regretted him.

I cannot in good conscience tell you every thing I think on the subject of my dog Velvel. Yes, there’s more. I can only say this: To all you young couples, thinking, “We should get a dog!” “I love you, let’s get a dog!” “We’re not ready for kids, but what about a dog?!”—don’t get a dog. Or, if you do get a dog, don’t have kids.

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2013/07/kids_and_dogs_if_you_re_having_a_baby_do_not_get_a_puppy.html

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#2 Old 08-02-2013, 04:01 PM
 
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I remember when I had my daughter. I had three cats in the house. Everybody kept telling me they could choke the baby, or something to that effect. I didn’t want to take my chances.



So...



So after letting the cats visit my daughter’s room once she was in there (I heard if you don’t so that, their curiosity will not let down until they satisfy it, so there, I let them satisfy it). Then I went and spent the money and replaced her wooden door by a retractable screen door. That way, I could close the door and still see and hear what was going on in my baby’s room.

I’ll never know if they would have gon in the baby’s crib. All I know is, there was no way I would have gotten rid of my cats. When my daughter got older, it was a real treat for her to cuddle on a mat besides Floyd, my biggest and fluffiest, and just sleep ther, all cozy.

I really don’t like that woman, either.

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#3 Old 08-02-2013, 04:15 PM
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Holy. After reading this, I'm seriously wondering if this lady should even have kids. She sounds like she doesn't know herself at all - as in how capable or responsible she can be before she does stuff. I dread to think what happens when her kids pass the cuddly stage. 

 

That's why I have zero pets. I know what I can handle. Up until this year I've never felt like I wanted to walk a dog, feed a dog, pay for vets, wash a dog, and do all that other stuff needed to care properly for an animal.  The fun parts of having a dog, have never ever sounded fun enough to me to put up with the harder stuff. I CAN care for a dog. My sister always left her dog with me when she'd travel and I loved the little guy. We got along great for you know, a week and had fun. But I've just never thought, hey, I could do this full time.  

 

Lately, now that my son is older and I've gotten more into animals, part of me has been thinking I do want a dog and could handle a dog - for the long haul. My son is also on board and he never was before (we're evolving). BUT even though we're considering a shelter dog at some point in the future, I'd have to give it a ton more thought and be 100% sure we're totally invested, have a vet lined up, and all of that before we really adopted a dog. It's amazing what people will take on half-heartedly (dogs, cats, kids?)

 

Even if she was responsible, this article doesn't make sense to me because all the dedicated dog owners I know, who then had kids, merged those two issues just fine. 


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#4 Old 08-02-2013, 06:06 PM
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That's why I have zero pets. I know what I can handle. Up until this year I've never felt like I wanted to walk a dog, feed a dog, pay for vets, wash a dog, and do all that other stuff needed to care properly for an animal.  The fun parts of having a dog, have never ever sounded fun enough to me to put up with the harder stuff. I CAN care for a dog. My sister always left her dog with me when she'd travel and I loved the little guy. We got along great for you know, a week and had fun. But I've just never thought, hey, I could do this full time.  

 

 

That's how I am about kids. :p

 

I know lots of people with kids and pets and none of them are like this woman. But I know from time spent in animal shelters plenty of people like her exist. There's nothing wrong with not wanting a dog or other pet. As long as you don't make the decision to HAVE one and then back out on your duties.

 

This woman sucks. I wonder if she fell out of love with her older kids once a younger model came along and just won't admit to it.

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#5 Old 08-03-2013, 08:54 AM
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I know lots of people with kids and pets and none of them are like this woman. But I know from time spent in animal shelters plenty of people like her exist. There's nothing wrong with not wanting a dog or other pet. As long as you don't make the decision to HAVE one and then back out on your duties.

 

I see this all the time on the rescue websites too, even when a woman just realises she is pregnant and then thinks she can't take care of a dog as well as a baby.

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#6 Old 08-03-2013, 06:53 PM
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I read this article and had a different reaction. I can see why so many people thought she was being mean and selfish, but I interpreted it differently - as a real reminder that getting a dog is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. It's partly her writing style, partly the topic that offended people. The joke about drowning the cats wasn't funny. But it was a joke; she wasn't actually saying it was OK to drown cats or dogs.

 

She didn't abandon her dog like so many people do. But she does honestly admit that right now - while she has an infant son to care for and is likely completely sleep deprived and very stressed out - she resents having to take care of her dog. She still does it, though, which is the most important thing.

 

Sometimes, people just take on more responsibility than they should. Or they don't realize exactly how hard it might get. For her it's 3 kids and a dog. For others it's that 5th cat or the 3rd dog... or the one child with special needs. I think it's OK to admit some resentment for having to take care of someone when you're tired and stressed and just don't want to do it anymore. So long as the person still does the responsible thing - or finds someone else to do it - then it's all good.

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#7 Old 08-03-2013, 08:14 PM
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The problem, though is that she isn't doing the responsible thing. Sure, she didn't dump him at the pound, but she resents him, and it sounds as though she resents him constantly, not just on particularly bad days,

 

And let me tell you, an animal knows when he's not loved, when he's resented, just like a human child does. Here's this poor dog, getting toward the end of his life, and for years, he's been resented.  That is such a shame.

 

I get her point - don't get an animal until you're at a point in your life where you can be sure to follow through on the commitment appropriately. That's a valid point.

 

But this woman sounds as though she should have stopped having children a child or two or three ago. If one of her children were to develop a chronic condition, it doesn't sound as though she could handle it. That would certainly be more draining and time consuming than giving one dog a bit of time and affection.

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#8 Old 08-03-2013, 09:09 PM
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I just don't think she deserves the vitriol she's getting. She's not actually neglecting or abandoning her dog. She doesn't run a puppy mill. She's not shooting or poisoning stray dogs. She resents caring for her dog and the dog may know that. But there are also 4 other people in the household, 1 of whom probably shows affection. Even if not and this dog is living a life that is subpar. Too bad. I just can't get worked up about it. 4-5 million shelter animals are killed every year. KILLLED. Not resented, KILLED. We have to prioritize.

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#9 Old 08-03-2013, 09:27 PM
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I just don't think she deserves the vitriol she's getting. She's not actually neglecting or abandoning her dog. She doesn't run a puppy mill. She's not shooting or poisoning stray dogs. She resents caring for her dog and the dog may know that. But there are also 4 other people in the household, 1 of whom probably shows affection. Even if not and this dog is living a life that is subpar. Too bad. I just can't get worked up about it. 4-5 million shelter animals are killed every year. KILLLED. Not resented, KILLED. We have to prioritize.

The number of shelter animals is probably higher than that.

 

However, to say that we "need to prioritize" and that how a companion animal is treated is not all that important in the bigger scheme of things is like Houndalation's argument that racism isn't important and is a distraction from what really matters in a world where millions of nonhumans are killed every year. I don't find it compelling.

 

In fact, the same attitude of animals not mattering if something "more important" comes up is at the root of how nonhumans are treated in this world, just like racist attitudes are at the root of people being killed because of their race.

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#10 Old 08-03-2013, 09:33 PM
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I just don't think she deserves the vitriol she's getting. She's not actually neglecting or abandoning her dog...   Even if not and this dog is living a life that is subpar. Too bad.

 

Are you kidding?  She is neglecting her dog.

 

The dog is overweight because they feed him crap to "shut him up," she says he's not getting attention or exercise, she yells at him, she blames him for shedding...and she's generally uncaring about his well-being.  She resents his very existence, and I don't know how he wouldn't feel that.  I don't know why you're defending her, she really doesn't deserve it, even though there are animals who are treated worse.  Is someone who is, for example, a bit racist worth defending for their poor treatment of others because they're not out there killing the people they discriminate against?  Do you feel just 'oh well, too bad' if a child is neglected and unwanted and living a "subpar" life, because there are kids who have it worse?

 

Quote:
It’s not that I don’t love my dog. It’s just that I don’t love my dog. 
 
(I’m no dog whisperer, but this might be because he’s not getting any attention.)...
 
Did I mention he sheds? This is not his fault, exactly. But who else to blame...
 
He’s 13, does not get enough (any) exercise, and has gained a fair amount of weight in the past few years, as we’ve started doling out the dog treats quite liberally because it’s the only thing that shuts him up... 
 
 The vet delivered the news gently, as if I might start sobbing at any moment. All I could think was, “I can’t remember if she said liver or kidney.”... 
 
He never got less cute to them. I never heard them yell, “GOD WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS UNDER FOOT?” They never regretted him.

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#11 Old 08-04-2013, 12:32 AM
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I don't know why you're defending her, she really doesn't deserve it, even though there are animals who are treated worse. 

Exactly.

 

She clearly has enough spare time to write an article about how difficult her life has become so she has the time to take the dog for a damn walk.

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#12 Old 08-04-2013, 05:44 AM
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Exactly.

She clearly has enough spare time to write an article about how difficult her life has become so she has the time to take the dog for a damn walk.
What? Writing articles is probably her job and isn't something she does 'in her spare time.'

Let me ask, what good comes from attacking this woman? Does it help any animals at all?
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#13 Old 08-04-2013, 06:24 AM
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Let me ask, what good comes from attacking this woman? Does it help any animals at all?


How is pointing out that she should take her dog for regular walks "attacking" her? Or she could hire a dog walker if she is too busy to look after her dog or find it a suitable new home.

 

Why would you defend someone who is neglecting her animal, what animals does that help?

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#14 Old 08-04-2013, 08:18 AM
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She says she walks him daily. He's fat because she gives him too many treats.

I'm not defending her. I'm agreeing with her sentiment: digs are huge responsibilities. Don't get a dog unless you can take care of him/her.
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#15 Old 08-04-2013, 04:19 PM
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Dogs are a big responsibility but she got the dog so she should be responsible for it's care as she is an adult human and the dog can't exactly make other arrangements for where it lives.

 

She admits that the dog doesn't get enough exercise and he whines a lot so is probably developing behavioural problems because of neglect. She could get a dog walker as I wrote, or put the dog in doggy daycare, get a family member to help out, maybe ask a retired neighbour who has a dog to walk him too, pay a responsible teenager in her street to take him out for some exercise and attention but instead she is complaining when she is responsible for the dog being in this predicament.

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#16 Old 08-04-2013, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV
 
She says she walks him daily. He's fat because she gives him too many treats.

 

The walking him daily doesn't jibe with "he does not get enough (any) exercise" - and because her attitude is so negative towards him overall, and he's fat, it seems far more likely that it isn't happening.  The treats are to "shut him up."  And overfeeding her dog to shut him up because he's not getting any attention (according to her) is neglectful behavior.

 

Quote:
He’s 13, does not get enough (any) exercise, and has gained a fair amount of weight in the past few years, as we’ve started doling out the dog treats quite liberally because it’s the only thing that shuts him up... 

 

...

 

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Let me ask, what good comes from attacking this woman? Does it help any animals at all?

 

That's a sentiment that could be asked of anyone's posts.  Do you think every post that you make helps someone?  Is that your standard for your posts?  
 
I personally think it's good to set a community standard when someone neglects and gives poor treatment to their pet.  When you make a public statement about how badly you treat your pet, there should be a public response.  But since you think her treatment of her pet is fine, you don't understand why people express negativity towards her.  Why do you keep 'attacking' George Zimmerman in the thread in the Compost Heap that you're spending so much time in?  He went through the legal system which gave him a judgment.  Are you helping anyone with your posts?  Are you helping black folks with your posts in that thread any more than anyone here is helping animals?  I think you have a very different standard and emotional reaction for race issues than for animal issues. 

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#17 Old 08-04-2013, 07:04 PM
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I just don't think she deserves the vitriol she's getting. She's not actually neglecting or abandoning her dog. She doesn't run a puppy mill. She's not shooting or poisoning stray dogs. She resents caring for her dog and the dog may know that. But there are also 4 other people in the household, 1 of whom probably shows affection. Even if not and this dog is living a life that is subpar. Too bad. I just can't get worked up about it. 4-5 million shelter animals are killed every year. KILLLED. Not resented, KILLED. We have to prioritize.


Interesting viewpoint considering your views on other subjects. Ill be storing this one.

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#18 Old 08-05-2013, 03:12 PM
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The dog was there first and fell out of favor when she had the first kid. If you can't handle a dog and a baby, why would you go on to add 2 more kids to the mix?

 

We all have stress. I don't resent my dogs, however, and I have a few more than she does.

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#19 Old 08-06-2013, 09:18 AM
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...A baby! Man, I loved this kid...

 

Victor quickly became the center of our lives. Weekends consisted of taking him to the park or the beach or the playground. Victor watched TV on the couch with us every night and slept on our bed...

 

Then I got a puppy...

 

A friend of mine once told me that before he adoped his kitten, he would have run into a burning building to save his kids. Now that he has a cat, he would happily drown the kids in the bathtub if it would help his cat take a longer nap. Here is how I feel about that statement: Victor, avoid the bathroom.

 

It's not that I don't love my kid. It's just that I don't love my kid. And I am not alone. A very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who had kids and then got a puppy now wishes they had never had the kids. This is a near universal truth, even for people with just one dog, though I have more...

 

...Sometimes Victor just cries. (I’m no child psychologist, but this might be because he’s not getting any attention.) Before we had dogs, this was at least an occasion to give him a nice, calming sponge bath. Some warm water, a wash cloth, and soap would do the trick. Now I grab a pair of scissors and hack off a clump of his hair. All clean!

 

There’s also all the other stuff, like having to drive him to preschool every day, and the fact that he loves to start a manic crying fit just as one of the dogs is about to fall asleep. (We bought one of those collars that shoots “a harmless burst” of citronella at Victor's face every time he cries. It worked for two days.)


Recently I took Victor for his annual checkup. He does not get enough (any) exercise, and has gained a fair amount of weight in the past few years, as we’ve started doling out candy quite liberally because it’s the only thing that shuts him up. The doctor ran some blood tests and called with the results a few days later. Victor’s liver levels are a little off, she told me, but why don’t we try medicine first before discussing other options. The doctor delivered the news gently, as if I might start sobbing at any moment. All I could think was, “I can’t remember if she said liver or kidney.” And then the puppy threw up and I had to go.

 

There are many lessons I’ve learned from my parents, but one in particular I wish I had followed. They didn’t have me until their dogs were fully grown. They loved me like a child should be loved. I never got less cute to them. I never heard them yell, “GOD WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS UNDER FOOT?” They never regretted me.


I cannot in good conscience tell you every thing I think on the subject of my child Victor. Yes, there’s more. I can only say this: To all you young couples, thinking, “We should have a kid!” “I love you, let’s have a kid!”—don’t have a kid. Or, if you do have a kid, don’t get any puppies.

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#21 Old 08-06-2013, 03:39 PM
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I don't know who this writer is, but it sounds like she's trying a style of comic writing that's wildly popular these days, and its harshness is part of what works about it -- to those who are fans of that sort of thing. Like when Louie CK gets up and says that although he loves his daughter he regrets every decision that led to her existence. Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings mine some of that emotional territory. To be a working comic today you almost need to be harsh and edgy, and it's a tool for bringing up uncomfortable things people in the audience are ashamed of in themselves. This is rubbing off onto other forms of communication. For a writer or a comic it's preferable to cause a sharp intake of breath than to be bland and dated. It's like they take to heart that saying about how humor carries the sting of bitter truth. Could be a lot of what she's writing is exaggeration for comic effect, which would explain why she writes that it isn't her dog's fault "exactly" that he sheds. That was supposed to be a laugh line, I'm pretty sure. I think she wants to express a truth and provoke a genuine reaction, as opposed to wanting to seem like a nice person. Who knows the truth of her actual household. Any little thing about it will be grist for the comic writing mill. She might be a creepo at home, she might be a softie. But you won't hear a comic who wants to stay relevant coming off as a softie, especially if she's a mom. Her dog is 13 now; with some breeds it's quite an accomplishment to keep them around for that long, so I think she's probably exaggerating the situation and the extent of any neglect, which may or may not be part of the picture. She might even be using humor as a coping mechanism to create an ironic barrier between herself and her need to process Velvel's serious illness. When a beloved old dog shows signs of failing health, the regrets start throbbing at our temples.

 

But the real kernel of truth in her writing is that people with dogs and no kids do tend to relate very, very differently to their dogs than do people with dogs and kids. People with children who get their kids a dog are more matter of fact about the dog. People without kids who get a dog, that dog becomes in some ways a substitute baby. You know what I mean, and people who have the dog first and then the kids have to shift gears that way and as she writes, it isn't a natural process at all.

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#22 Old 08-07-2013, 06:06 AM
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I don't have children so take this with a grain of salt but I understand that young children misbehave when a new baby is introduced to a home. It is reasoned that the child misbehaves because, in their mind, they are being ignored as they parents are so busy attending to the needs of the new baby.

Perhaps it's just faulty perception on behalf of the child but perhaps the parents really aren't taking care of the existing child to the same degree that they were because of time constraints, exhaustion, frazzled nerves, etc. They may even show impatience with the older child and their needs because the parents just "can't deal with it right now."

Does anyone, beside me, see any similarities here?
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#23 Old 08-07-2013, 09:32 AM
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Rinchen, there are just so many ways for it to play out when parents bring home a second or subsequent baby. I'm sure your scenario describes some households. People tend to be more relaxed and confident with their subsequent kids, and sometimes not so hell-bent on documenting every little milestone in scrapbooks and videos. So first children often end up getting more of what kids get than the ones who come after. And some people are smart and/or lucky with the way their kids are spaced so that the former youngest is at least walking and talking and using the toilet before the next one comes. And of course some parents are pretty messed up and they'll favor whichever kid seems most like themselves (or be way harder on that one!). There are as many different kinds of ways to get it wrong as there are different kinds of people having kids. And as many different ways to react to being displaced as the reigning baby of the household. So I think what you describe is one out of a large bank of possibilities. But I think, as the third-born in a family of seven, each child has a unique line to his or her parents' hearts, and a unique task in coping with the chaos when big changes are afoot.

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#24 Old 08-10-2013, 01:39 PM
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Exactly.

She clearly has enough spare time to write an article about how difficult her life has become so she has the time to take the dog for a damn walk.

In fact in the article she mentions that the dog is walked every day. She probably says "every damn day" but still. I know dogs that aren't, whose owners will weep buckets when their dogs die way too young and in bad shape. She also mentions that she found out he's sick on his yearly vet check-up. Every year she's taken him in for a checkup, sick or well. That is conscientious, not neglectful. There are parts of the article as first published (not just the excerpt we see in this thread) that clearly show her regret that Velvel became less of a priority once the first baby came home. Before bringing home the baby, they first brought home a hat the baby had been wearing in the hospital to familiarize Velvel with the baby's scent. She wrote "and that was the last nice thing we ever did for him." She's writing herself as the bad guy here, and the reader is obviously being encouraged to take the dog's part, not hers. I think there's more here than what's laid out on the surface, and a heavy dose of irony as a literary device.
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#25 Old 08-10-2013, 06:38 PM
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^ But she said he doesn't get any exercise. She might have meant that she used to walk him, but stopped.

 

In a way she's criticizing herself, but the only thing she expresses any regret over is that she had a dog before she had kids. The rest she trivializes, normalizes and justifies, suggesting that everyone who has both a pet and a child treats their pet/s poorly. There is no way she would have written something like that, in the tone she did, if it was about a human. This is not just about her treatment of her dog it's the way she writes about it and the fact that she is writing about it to a large audience. When someone writes to an audience in a way that normalizes treating animals badly (whether or not that was her intent) it is worth speaking out against. Just as an article writer can influence people, other people's reactions to an article can influence people.

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#26 Old 08-10-2013, 07:28 PM
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^ But she said he doesn't get any exercise. She might have meant that she used to walk him, but stopped.

 

In a way she's criticizing herself, but the only thing she expresses any regret over is that she had a dog before she had kids. The rest she trivializes, normalizes and justifies, suggesting that everyone who has both a pet and a child treats their pet/s poorly. There is no way she would have written something like that, in the tone she did, if it was about a human. This is not just about her treatment of her dog it's the way she writes about it and the fact that she is writing about it to a large audience. When someone writes to an audience in a way that normalizes treating animals badly (whether or not that was her intent) it is worth speaking out against. Just as an article writer can influence people, other people's reactions to an article can influence people.

This, 100%.

 

BTW, she says "having to walk him every day", which is not the same as saying she actually does walk him every day. In conjunction with saying that he doesn't get any exercise, it either means that she knows he should be walked every day, but she doesn't do it, or she only "walks" him long enough for him to defecate and urinate. If she doesn't have a fenced in yard, it probably means the latter.

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#27 Old 08-10-2013, 08:37 PM
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If she was trying to be humorous she failed.

She has more than one kid. NOTHING gets under your feet, and under your skin, and on your last nerve like a kid!.

Well at least for me. Having my dog around kept me sane.


Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#28 Old 08-11-2013, 05:29 AM
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If my own experience is anything to go by, a dog needs to be let outside three times a day for urinating and defecating: morning, afternoon, and before the owner goes to bed. This is not only for the dog's sake, but also for the hardwood floors and carpet. So three times a day, not "every day," which is why I don't think that's what she was referring to. I don't think it's entirely possible to harmonize her two statements, about having to walk Velvel every day and about him not getting any exercise. But since the dog has made it to the age of 13, I think he gets walked like she says they have to. That would make her statement about him not getting any exercise hyperbole, trying to support her main point that she was much more engaged in his care before she had children than after. If they used to play fetch and go to dog parks and take much longer walks, that might be what she means.

I also agree that if she's trying to be funny, it's not working. I think it's more like she's using dry humor (hyperbole, irony, reversal, misdirection, understatement) as a tool to try and say something serious, something that's a truth for her and people she knows, but obviously (to others if not to her) not true for everyone. I can sort of relate, having kept a constantly shedding goofball of a dog for 14 years. There were times I regarded her as "why we can't have nice things." Never had a dog and an infant at the same time, which I think would've made walks really hard, especially in heavy weather when there was nobody at home to leave the baby with. But humor is really hard to get right, and I don't think she hit what she was probably going for. But I also have the strong feeling that she's not a horrible person, and that she's writing from a place of regret. And it might even be misplaced regret. When a dog is a substitute baby, that's great for the owner but not necessarily something the dog himself craves. When the human babies come and the dog is knocked down a peg, the dog can usually roll with it. This dog didn't start misbehaving; it was the writer's own behavior that changed, and presumably her husband's, and that's what I think she regrets now that he's old and sick.
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#29 Old 08-11-2013, 08:16 AM
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I agree with Joan Kennedy.

I have cared for twin infants, a toddler, 2 dogs, and 4 cats at the same time. It's a bad idea.

I can relate to the article's author. Sometimes people just get in over their heads. We were lucky in that the babies were foster children so we weren't "committed" to them in the same way as we were committed to the rest of the family. So when it became possible to move the twins to another home we jumped on it.

It was just too much. We're probably never going to care for twins again. In fact we stopped being foster parents, it was just too hard. Maybe we will try again later, when we have fewer animals.

Trying to take care of many needy creatures (dogs, kids, cats) can be exhausting. I think it's ok to feel a little resentment from time to time. It's a natural human emotion and we shouldn't attack someone for feeling it or being honest enough to admit it.
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#30 Old 08-11-2013, 01:21 PM
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Sometimes people just get in over their heads. We were lucky in that the babies were foster children so we weren't "committed" to them in the same way as we were committed to the rest of the family. So when it became possible to move the twins to another home we jumped on it.

It was just too much. We're probably never going to care for twins again. In fact we stopped being foster parents, it was just too hard. Maybe we will try again later, when we have fewer animals.

 

She didn't just wind up "over her head."  She chose to have one child, then another, and then a third.  They had YEARS to plan and adjust to this, it didn't happen overnight.  This was their choice, not some burden that was dropped on them.

 

At least you realized you couldn't have multiple children and animals.  She kept adding more children to the mix.

 

Maybe she can't give her children to anyone (maybe she should, I don't know - she doesn't exhibit great compassion), but she could probably rehome her dog with someone she knows, or even someone who's read her article and finds it appalling (a number of comments say they'd take the dog and give him a better home).

 

Still don't know why you're defending her.  I mean if you find this acceptable, maybe don't have pets, because if someone you like better comes along it sounds like they might get neglected/abused? 

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