Are Dogs Taking the Place of Children?


#1

Are Dogs Taking the Place of Children?

......What does this truth have to do with dogs? If in marriage, husband and wife do not heed to God’s command to be fruitful in the begetting of children, then this hunger to love something outside of themselves, in union with each other, will find false expression. As seen, one example of this is in the adoption of a pet, where an animal gains the privileges of a person. They are seen as the “third” in this communion of husband and wife. It is a twisted truth, a pacifier. *What these couples truly desire is a child.
*

more....


#2

Hi Buffalo,

I think you have a good point here when it comes to some pet owners. Just watch Animal Planet, and you see the implication that pets are something akin to children.

On the other hand, children are becoming more of a voluntary “lifestyle choice”, in a sense much like a pet would have functioned in the past.

God Bless,
Joan


#3

My bf and I will sometimes refer to the dogs as kids as in, "We bringing the kids on this hike?"

We also use the words, mommy, daddy and baby. We're both living by ourselves, so I really don't buy the psycobabble that we want kids. I like being on my own with a dog. I spoil her a bit too much. One day, perhaps, I'll be married and then I suppose it will really be awkward to some. Cause even though I know they're not kids I won't change my speech. When I have kids she'll be less spoiled, but she will still be "baby dog" even if she's 12. When my kids are grown and I have another dog years and years from now it will be to have a dog(s), not becuase I have some cloying desire to have more kids.


#4

[quote="purplesunshine, post:3, topic:246346"]
My bf and I will sometimes refer to the dogs as kids as in, "We bringing the kids on this hike?"

We also use the words, mommy, daddy and baby. We're both living by ourselves, so I really don't buy the psycobabble that we want kids. I like being on my own with a dog. I spoil her a bit too much. One day, perhaps, I'll be married and then I suppose it will really be awkward to some. Cause even though I know they're not kids I won't change my speech. When I have kids she'll be less spoiled, but she will still be "baby dog" even if she's 12. When my kids are grown and I have another dog years and years from now it will be to have a dog(s), not becuase I have some cloying desire to have more kids.

[/quote]

Yeah some people do replace children with pets but just because someone calls their pets their babies and spoils them a bit doesn;t really mean they want human children. I mean I called my guinea pigs my babies and refered to myself as their mama but I do not want human children. And yes some people do take it too far treating their pets like human but not all of us who have pets instead of children do!


#5

As for the article itself most of those examples weren;t really that terrible. I mean the fathers day card thing made meraise an eyebrow and the carrying the dog thing was kinda odd but not way over the top. Besides maybe the dog was sick or injured in some way but the owner still wanted to take it out? Doggie cones sound cute to me personally lol! As for the water being offered while it would have been nice for them to offer the writer of the article water as well the thing is you can go get water if you need and or are capable of carrying your own water if necessary. That is not true with a dog. But really I read the article and I definately did not jump to the same conclusions that these people all secretly desire children.


#6

....yep. That somehow dogs are there so people are "paccified" into caring about a non human and don't feel the desire to have kids.

I love animals. I have always had a desire to own animals. Loving them does not replace my desire to have a family. On the contrary, I think it's made me a better person and will make me a better parent.

Every couple should have to own a dog and "Canine Good citizen" train it in order to have kids. The world would be a lot better off.


#7

I think the article may have gone a little over the top... some people just like dogs :) While the article was a bit of a stretch, it is kinda obscene how some people treat and equate their dogs like people.

I love my dogs dearly, and their health and well-being is important, but the health and well-being of the human members of the family come first always. Dogs should be regarded as dogs, the lovely, loyal, creatures that God gave to us as guardians and companions.


#8

For those who can’t have children and can’t adopt (cost and the time it takes) a pet can fill the gap. My dh and I are in that category. We have 5 cats. We didn’t plan in owning 5, but they just seem to come to us. We spoil them a bit–they all could lose some weight, but we don’t think of them seriously as children. We know the difference and feel the difference. The cats are a solace for us and someone has to care for them.

In these hard economic times people are dumping cats and dogs, just abandoning them. We’ve taken in all ours because others didn’t want them. Without us they’d be living wretched lives, getting whatever they can find (and no cats cannot hunt for food unless they are taught to do that by their mothers). We feel we are doing a service to them and our community by caring for them. They are dear to us, but I wish we could have had them AND children to enjoy them along with us.

And then there are many older people for whom a cat or dog serves to keep them company and feeling like they are still needed when they kids no longer visit them. If people are young enough and able to have children they should be open to them. But the way many people think these days–very anti-religion and so selfish, maybe it’s better if they don’t have kids who they would resent for taking time away from their precious selves. One of our nephews married a woman like that and I have actually been thankful they can’t have kids. Dogs serve their needs and the rest of the family very well indeed.


#9

Yeah or some other pet that requires a good amount of responsiblity.


#10

[quote="buffalo, post:1, topic:246346"]
Are Dogs Taking the Place of Children?

......What does this truth have to do with dogs? If in marriage, husband and wife do not heed to God’s command to be fruitful in the begetting of children, then this hunger to love something outside of themselves, in union with each other, will find false expression. As seen, one example of this is in the adoption of a pet, where an animal gains the privileges of a person. They are seen as the “third” in this communion of husband and wife. It is a twisted truth, a pacifier. *What these couples truly desire is a child.
*

more....

[/quote]

While this may be true for some, its a stretch to assume it for all. I love my pets partly **because **they are different to human children. Animals and children are too diffferent for one to be a substitute for the other.

Also, what is to anyone if their neighbour treats their pets like children? :shrug: What about people who name and speak to their cars and laptops? ( Yes people do that, I know I have at times :o)


#11

Also, what is to anyone if their neighbour treats their pets like children?

maybe it should be nothing. but maybe there's a reader/ poster to CAF who might discover certain disordered affections (or cruelty) in his own treatment of his pets. here's what the Church says:

2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. **One can love animals; **one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

added considerations:

2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

2457 Animals are entrusted to man's stewardship; he must show them kindness. They may be used to serve the just satisfaction of man's needs.


#12

[quote="monicatholic, post:11, topic:246346"]

2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. **One can love animals; **one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

[/quote]

Hey,

I am glad that you mentioned the above. I've always wanted to get a dog but had a little reservation because I remember the above.

From my research and experience of having a dog when I was a kid, it seems that dogs like German Shepherds or Golden Retrievers are very high maintenance. Vaccines, the food they eat, everything seems pricey and equal to the amount that could have been spent to give a poor family food perhaps for a week or money to buy medication. This is not considering the money to pay the vet.

But at the same time, I feel like I misunderstood this whole thing. Because it seems to suggest that unless I have a justifiable need for a dog (like I was a Shepherd, for security or something), it would be immoral to own a dog. But many seem to own high maintenance dogs (which can't really provide security) including some parish priests I've seen and I really haven't seen the church object. Anyone know what the Church teaches on this matter, am I interpreting the passage above incorrectly?

I understand this is a bit off topic but any help is appreciated :)

God Bless :)


#13

But what makes an affection towards one’s pet normal and what makes it disordered? I think we can all agree bestiality is of course, but other than that extreme example, what is considered ‘too much’ seems to differ from person to person.

I stand by what I say though, no one has ever told me not to spend too much time on my car or some other collector’s item which is an inanimate object, why do it regarding one of God’s creature.


#14

Hi, the best thing I can say is to follow the Catechism and dont over think things. I think you’ll find that most people with pets are inadvertently in line with it anyway.

Humans have made plenty of mistakes along the way, and now dogs are a species very very dependant on humans and very needy compared to other animals. Rightly or wrongly, this is what a domesticated animal is like. They are here now, and certain breeds as you pointed out might require special care etc. That is not their fault, and to deny them the care they need because you cannot afford it is not right in the long term and in cases like this the dog would be better off with someone who has the right resources. (Not saying this is you)

Ultimately just use your common sense here, as with all things.

God bless!


#15

[quote="JaneGrey, post:14, topic:246346"]
Hi, the best thing I can say is to follow the Catechism and dont over think things. I think you'll find that most people with pets are inadvertently in line with it anyway.

Humans have made plenty of mistakes along the way, and now dogs are a species very very dependant on humans and very needy compared to other animals. Rightly or wrongly, this is what a domesticated animal is like. They are here now, and certain breeds as you pointed out might require special care etc. That is not their fault, and to deny them the care they need because you cannot afford it is not right in the long term and in cases like this the dog would be better off with someone who has the right resources. (Not saying this is you)

Ultimately just use your common sense here, as with all things.

God bless!

[/quote]

Thank you for the reply.

But I didn't mean the morality of having a dog when there are no resources. I think that already qualifies as immoral. The problem I have is in reconciling the fact that I would be spending the resources I have on my dog when according to the catechism, that money could be spent to better the life of a human being (as there seem to be many in today's world that are in need).

So questions I have are,

1) Given I have resources, is it moral to own a Dog knowing how much it costs to provide care for it? (do I have to consider the fact that the money could be used to better a life of a human being?)

2) Given I already own a dog, and seeing the expenses, am I right to continue to own the dog? (do I need to consider the fact that the expenses could be spent on alleviating human misery?)

God Bless :)


#16

But what makes an affection towards one’s pet normal and what makes it disordered? I think we can all agree bestiality is of course, but other than that extreme example, what is considered ‘too much’ seems to differ from person to person.

I stand by what I say though, no one has ever told me not to spend too much time on my car or some other collector’s item which is an inanimate object, why do it regarding one of God’s creature.

that you may or mayn’t overspend on material things really isnt a relevant consideration, though the catechism does contain teaching on the proper use of material goods, on almsgiving, on solidarity with the poor and on greed.

the catechism also gives some guidance as to what is disordered: One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

but ***who’s to say ***what is affection due only to persons? it’s a tough question amongst a generation (or three) of Catholics who have such poorly informed consciences. but a good, prayerful sincere examination of conscience would help IF a person was, in fact, willing to allow God to change his/ her heart and mind.

Anyone know what the Church teaches on this matter, am I interpreting the passage above incorrectly?

look again: “It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery.” the priority– the*** first*** fruits belong to God in service to relief of human misery-- almsgiving. if our stewardship is reliable and generous in this, having pets and caring for them can be good. in proper order, interaction with animals can aid in personal wellbeing.


#17

[quote="monicatholic, post:16, topic:246346"]
that you may or mayn't overspend on material things really isnt a relevant consideration, though the catechism does contain teaching on the proper use of material goods, on almsgiving, on solidarity with the poor and on greed.

the catechism also gives some guidance as to what is disordered: One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

but **who's to say **what is affection due only to persons? it's a tough question amongst a generation (or three) of Catholics who have such poorly informed consciences. but a good, prayerful sincere examination of conscience would help IF a person was, in fact, willing to allow God to change his/ her heart and mind.

look again: "It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery." the priority-- the*** first*** fruits belong to God in service to relief of human misery-- almsgiving. if our stewardship is reliable and generous in this, having pets and caring for them can be good. in proper order, interaction with animals can aid in personal wellbeing.

[/quote]

True. My issue is more with those who feel they have the black and white answers to this, and are thus quick to put people down.

Lovely picture by the way!


#18

[quote="ddarko, post:15, topic:246346"]
Thank you for the reply.

But I didn't mean the morality of having a dog when there are no resources. I think that already qualifies as immoral. The problem I have is in reconciling the fact that I would be spending the resources I have on my dog when according to the catechism, that money could be spent to better the life of a human being (as there seem to be many in today's world that are in need).

So questions I have are,

1) Given I have resources, is it moral to own a Dog knowing how much it costs to provide care for it? (do I have to consider the fact that the money could be used to better a life of a human being?)

2) Given I already own a dog, and seeing the expenses, am I right to continue to own the dog? (do I need to consider the fact that the expenses could be spent on alleviating human misery?)

God Bless :)

[/quote]

Correct me if im wrong, but if your dilemma is indeed something to be worried about, then would not everyone who knows how much it takes to take care of a dog have the same issue? In that case, then every Catholic who has pets would be doing the wrong thing if it is assumed that they should be instead giving money to alleviate human misery?

I have my dogs, and people could say that I can instead be giving that money to charity. However people could say that about anything. I dont need alot of the things i have, although my life is better with them. However at least with my pets, I m giving a safe and loving home to God's creatures, who might otherwise be in an abusive home or strays in the street being a nuisance to people.

I understand your worry, but bear in mind that there are plenty of good practising Catholics out there, priests included, who have pets and love and take care of them.


#19

My dog is sitting on my lap :D and yes he's my baby!!

Maybe some people do let dogs take the place of children. But I don't see how its wrong to have a dog? I know the difference between my dog and my kids, one of them can be locked in a cage when it annoys me ;)

Perhaps it is more that our culture leads to not having children, and for those trapped in this culture, dogs fill a need?

think the problem becomes when owners expect others to cater to the dog. But we can choose not to be part of that. I have an aunt who doesn't understand why I don't come visit. But she refuses to lock up her dog. It snaps at the kids, and she says "well they should be quieter", he begs for food and will literally take it off your plate and she says "well just give him some, see he sat pretty". Putting dogs above the safety and well being of humans, as if they are children is odd to me.

I'm also very turned off by a friend of mine who puts all of her volunteer energy into raising money for canine cancer. Or I hear of rescues spending thousands of dollars on vet care for one dog, it makes me sad because there are people out there who could use that kind of fundraising to pay for medical care. But I'm not opposed to donating to responsible shelters or spay/neuter clinics. And I don't think that donating to the canine cancer research is immoral, after all that kind of research may lead to breakthroughs for humans.

But I don't personally believe having a dog is immoral, or leads one to not have children. In fact I like having lots of kids and animals around. We have dogs, cats, chickens, reptiles, fish, arthropods and kids.


#20

I have the opposite problem. I have tried to develop affection for animals and I just can't do it. Some people think there's something wrong with me. :p

We had a dog for 13+ years - just had to put him down in May. I took him to the vet, the groomer etc. I liked him; he was a good dog. I didn't love him the way my husband and kids did. (and I have NO desire for another dog)


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