About this Blog

After banging my head in frustration over the obsession everyone around me had with procreation, I went online to find a community of people who were more like me. I have met some fascinating people along the way, but I have also found that many in the childfree community are quite hostile toward Christianity and a Christian world view. I understand that, unfortunately, many of my Christian sisters and brothers have given them a lot of ammunition (undoubtedly, I have been guilty of this at times too). Not wanting to be perceived as "trolling" for expressing my Christian perspective on other people's forums and blogs, I use my own blog to share my musings on childfree life while at the same time expressing my faith.

My intention is to show support to childfree people, both Christian and non-Christian, but from my own Christian perspective. Questions and constructive comments are welcome; negativity and intolerance are not.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why I Love “Animal People”

The humane society where I volunteer takes great care to show its appreciation for volunteers, including organizing recognitions, luncheons, and other get-togethers. On several of these occasions, I have found myself surrounded by other animal lovers, the vast majority of whom have older or grown children (and some have no children) -- and all we want to talk about is animals.

I often feel as if I’m a bit of a misfit everywhere, but with these other animal folks, I’m accepted. No one cares that I don’t have children, so long as I have a great kitten story to swap. At one event, I was in the company of several women of retirement age, and a few of them had made comments about their children or grandchildren. One of the ladies looked at me. “Do you have any children?” “No,” I replied. Not missing a beat, she nodded in acknowledgement, and said to me and the group, “I have the craziest story from the spay clinic the other day!...” I was completely delighted at the no-hassle, let’s-talk-about-something-interesting tenor of the discussion. No babies? No problem.

At another event, we were going around the table introducing ourselves and telling some anecdotes about our work fostering animals. I shared that I have fostered only one dog (the first and the last) because while I love dogs, my personality is much better suited to cats. I gave the example of how excited I am when my brother visits with his dog -- I play with the dog, walk the dog, snuggle the dog, call him my dog-nephew -- but I’m also glad to see the dog leave. One of the gentleman laughed, “Ah, just like grandchildren!” Rather than the condescending attitude of “you wouldn’t understand anything since you’re not a parent” which I have encountered all too often, this grandparent was willing to make a connection with me. No kids? No problem.

And so it goes with almost every visit I make to the animal shelter. We are all so concerned with our common goals of saving the lives of furry companions, reducing pet overpopulation, nursing the sick, matching animals to the right adoptive homes, and keeping the shelter running smoothly that our own reproduction is seldom discussed. It’s just not important.

1 comment:

  1. Your story about your brother's dog reminds me of that time I worked for many months in a kindergarden, I was always happy getting back home to myself and my own peace after a whole day working with these children. I even looked forward having 30 minutes of break during my time working there, helps you keep some of your sanity as well. ;-) And I wouldn't like knowing how it would be to be having own children that you will have to watch over most of the time. It just fits better for me being a fun aunt, and then the children can be picked up again by their parents.

    It is interesting you say that you are more suited for having cats. As I have discussed this with my husband not too long ago, about how awful I find it when people get a dog and then they show no responsibility whilst having it.

    Here where we live most people do not pick up the poop of their dog, even if the trashcan is 1 meters away, they just leave the poop on the ground, as 1 meters IS quite a long walk, you know? Even if it would require 5 minutes walk to the trashcan, for most people this is much too far away, so they better leave the poop on the ground, and walk on.

    Some even blame the community for not taking care of picking up their dog poop, as this is supposedly meant being a job for the community, not for them. Afterall, people over here have to pay the dog taxes, so then this means that the community are meant to taking care of dog poop for them.

    When they started in a few places with wanting to catch people letting their dog poop and not picking it up, or if they catch the dog going without the lead where it should be kept on the lead, then they get a big bill to pay, something a lot of dog owners catched becomes easily agreesive towards them.

    This makes me wonder how many got themselves a dog whilst they should instead have gotten themselves a cat.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I love cats too. At my parents place I grew up with us having some cats, so I love dogs and cats much of the same. But I have learned that having a dog requires much more work and attention given to our dog, more than what it is needed to be given to a cat. And although this might be very clische sentence to say; "I do think it is all worth it for us". ;-) We feel very blessed having our dog, and it suits us. :-)

    I just think people should think it more through which animal would suit them the best, instead of jumping into a decision that might not be the best one for them. Something I beleive a lot of people do. I am glad you and your husband found out that cats is what suits you the best having. Much better doing this, than making life miserable for you as well as for the dog.