Four legged babies

I have blogged about our dog baby before. He's a little spoiled, and there's a good reason for it. Gus is a freaking awesome dog and wonderful housemate!

He goes to work every day with his dad. Everyone at the vet office can bring in their pet, though few do it on a regular basis. But the two regulars are Gus, and his doggie girlfriend, Vivian.

She's a feisty little Shih-Tzu who keeps Gus on his toes. At lunch time, the two tear through the break room, Gus dragging Vivian around by her fluffy tail (which isn't that fluffy anymore since Gus swallows most of her fur) and she, pulling on his floppy jowls. They are a pair!

On Sunday morning, we found out that Vivian was struck by a car and died. We were mortified. We were so devastated by the loss of that sweet little girl, and so crushed for her dog-mommy.

Immediately, our thoughts went to our little boy. I ran outside where he was lounging in the sun to make sure his lead was firmly attached. I looked at his sweet little face and wondered what he would think when he went to work with The Man and his girlfriend wasn't there.

"What makes us love him so much?" asked The Man.

I don't know.

I know the comparison of pets to children is, in theory, quite ridiculous. Of course children are more...more of everything. More love. More fear. More pride. More joy.

But I can't help but compare them. For the nearly 18 years we've been married, our pets have been our babies. I feel panic when Gus isn't well. I miss him and the kitties terribly when we are traveling. I am proud of him when he's well behaved. I am delighted when one of the crew learns a new trick. I beam when people fawn over them.

Are those reactions so different than mothers with their children?

Oooh. Getting very deep with the thinking here. Best to ponder that on another day.

This morning though, I was thankful that Gus and I speak a different language so I wouldn't have to break the news to him about Vivian.


  1. First, I had no idea your DH worked at a vet office! Is he a tech? A vet? Receptionist? Super cool, in any case.
    Secondly, our kitties were, and always will be, our babies. I'm SICK when they aren't well, and I dread the day we have to tell them good-bye. Yes our relationship with them has changed since O and I came home, but they are still just as important to us as our children. Before both girls came home, we had a moment of "omigod, what if the kid is allergic?" We think for half a second before saying "we'll just jack the kid full of allergy shots!" There's no way in heezy we'd ever get rid of one of our furry family members!!!
    Love that you love your Gus so much!

  2. Lordy girl. We are alike! I practically have a nervous breakdown when I think about if the kid is allergic! And lol, we came to the same conclusion you did! We have 2 kitties as well. Our Jayka kitty moved on a year ago and it still hurts my heart. And The Man is a vet. Lucky me! I don't know how a home is a home without furry creatures about.

  3. That's so sad about Vivian. My thoughts go out to her family and Gus.

    My pup means a lot to me too, I've been told by friends that pets become more like pets when you have kids... I doubt feelings for the pet diminishes though, I think like you said, the feelings for children are more. I wonder if this is because they have more of a future unlike our different-species family members. I tend to get a Geppetto complex with my dogs at times I think, I look at her and am sad she'll never really 'grow up' into a person, a bit creepy but I guess its the unused child-rearing instincts in overdrive? With a child, that future will be there though, so I think that brings in the stronger feelings of attachment, similar to what we feel to our "fur-babies" but deeper as there is more at stake.

    My pup has been with me through some tough times and has been a real help and comfort which people who haven't been through what I've been through might not understand but has made her mean a lot more to me, not in a subsitute baby sense but in a keep-living-life sense, making sure I get up and get out into the day etc.

    I do appreciate that she is 'just a dog' in some ways too, like being able to leave her home without a sitter!

  4. oh, oh, that is just too sad. :(
    but, that's so cool that your husband gets to bring gus to work!
    i'm also very worried about choi boy possibly being allergic to piper...i don't know what i'd do!


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