On Slate, more than 4,000 commenters expanded on those sentiments, calling out the author for being flippant about a living creature (albeit a dog and not a human), and offering a different perspective: That owning a dog before having children is great preparation for being a parent. Many people saw what I did, which was a person so overwhelmed by her chaotic family life, she thought it would be amusing to share her experiences with others who could potentially relate. Unfortunately, the entertainment value was trumped by the uncomfortable descriptions of how she and her husband deal with the dog now that they have three kids to raise. Granted, it's no secret that once babies are in the picture, a pet takes a bit of a backseat. Caring for a human is more stressful and requires more attention than caring for a dog or a cat (or any other domesticated pet). But even though some parents agreed with the author's general message, I still came across a lot of comments from parents that said, essentially, "I get what she's saying, but our pets are members of our family and deserve the same sufficient love, respect, and attention as any other member."
With that in mind, I wanted to present several examples of the ways parents talk about pets (their pets, their neighbors' pets, etc.) on social media, because there are ways to do it right and ways to do it very, very wrong. Whether you're trying to relocate a pet post-baby, complaining that a neighbor's dog won't stop barking during nap time and needs to be "offed," or just hearing from paranoid people who believe pets and children are a dangerous combination (which is purely circumstantial), parent-pet talk on social media is a common point of interest. Let's check out a few examples:
1. Paranoia Will Destroy Ya
This mom has good intentions and is thoughtfully discussing the future relationships her children will have with their "fur-siblings," a cute term of endearment that speaks volumes about how she thinks of her family's pets. Unfortunately for her, though, R. is a crazy person who tells others what to do with their children AND still believes the old wives' tale that cats suffocate babies. Tough break, D.
These types of status updates need to stop. There's nothing funny about killing an animal just for barking (i.e. existing), and it's actually ironic given that babies cry so much (which is something parents expect to be tolerated by neighbors, airplane passengers, restaurant diners, etc.). Much like with human parents, if a dog isn't well-behaved, the issue has more to do with the owners than with the dog. Sure, it can be annoying to deal with a yappy dog, especially one that finds its way onto your property, but don't take it out on the dog, even in jest on Facebook, because that's kind of fucked up. Take it out on the dog's owners once you finally track them down. Preferably without a rifle in hand.
Pink wins everything! I wish I had a coupon to Applebee's or something that I could offer as a reward to Pink for having the guts to post that comment. Black commits the cardinal sin of not only attempting to "get rid of" her dog via Facebook -- which is a pretty good way to connect with people if you NEED to get rid of a pet, if a little sad to read as a newsfeed item -- but also admitting that the dog is great with kids and just requires more attention. If a pet is a genuine threat to a child, by all means, relocation is something to consider, but if a pet loves his home and his "family" and just isn't getting what he needs, tossing him out is a dick move.
There's already a pet population problem, as we're all reminded each day on The Price Is Right, and people who have taken on the responsibility of owning a pet shouldn't contribute to it simply because they're hassled by carpet pee. There are other solutions. Trying to find a loving home for the dog is noble, but getting rid of the dog at all is heartless. Also, Yellow sounds like an asshole. "No one came forward" to claim another family's dog? Who'd of thunk it?
Considering S.'s comment, I'm going to give K. the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe -- maybe? -- Miles the dog previously barfed on Z. or on something that belongs to Z. But even so, why post this picture on Facebook? It's kind of funny, I guess? But the dog is covered in puke. Just clean the fucking dog, K.
This is one of the cutest pictures I've ever received as a Gold Star submission. I love the idea of Huskies pulling a stroller in suburbia, and I'm sure the baby does, too. Plus, it means R. can go hands-free! Truly a win-win for everyone. Well-played, R. You know how to treat your pups and post quality content on Facebook, and I, for one, thank you for it. Now MUSH, puppies!