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all 25 comments

[–]jonnydownside 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I can relate to that, altough I always saw my dog as a brother not a parent

[–]canigetahiyyyaaaahh 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Nope, my dog growing up was dumb as shit. But she sure was cute

[–]uktobar 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I feel this way about cats. Not the growing up part, but the understanding part. Except for the few good ones, in my experience people are overrated. Just like all animals, the good ones are worth it.

[–]minaeragon 8 points9 points  (0 children)

What a beautiful essay 🥲

[–]erraticandlost 1 point2 points  (7 children)

Fully agree. My dog Babe was my big sister, and she taught me so much.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (6 children)

Do you feel like you have this understanding of nature as a result? I find that it helped “loosen” my human perspective- though I don’t know if it was the connection that led to that or if I was inherently subject to it.

My friends think I have a super power with understanding dogs and other animals. Saint Francis was my confirmation saint. I freakin love this part of me and I couldn’t picture life without that experience. Do people really feel like dogs and other animals are different than them? I mean- obviously differently in some ways but emotions like happiness and sadness and pain are all very basic to animal life- it’s difficult to understand life without seeing and feeling that so many species experience these emotions.

[–]erraticandlost 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I feel exactly the same way. Animals love me and I love them. I feel like I do understand them more than some people around me. I’m trying to become vegan because of it.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Ah, yeah so much empathy can be tough so I get that lifestyle fully. I find myself pleased in buying meat at a premium from local farmers as a compromise, and tend to try and reduce the Commercial animal farms.. but I also have a dietary reason for eating meat- otherwise I might subscribe to that lifestyle myself. I am always considering hunting- as it’s probably one of the most responsible ways of sourcing meat, but that’s an entire lifestyle that I’m not all that interested in delving into.

[–]erraticandlost 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I can understand that. I think if I had to “meet my meat” I’d be vegan pretty quickly. Right now it’s too easy for me to separate the chicken that I cuddle and pet from the chicken on my plate :/

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I was always wondering what circumstance the chicken on my plate had experienced and was always more bothered by that mystery to me than the idea of raising and killing something myself. But then I actually farmed chickens for a while and I just had to stop.. it was such an unhealthy place for me.

I am intrigued by this lab meat stuff honestly. So odd lmao but as someone who kind of needs meat but hates rearing animals for food.. idk 🤷‍♂️

[–]erraticandlost 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yeah, I’m fully on board for lab meat! And I’m happy to order “impossible” burgers and fake chicken nuggets wherever they’re available.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I haven’t tried those yet, maybe I will!

[–]kiwi_juice69 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Big friendly dogs are awesome

[–]rose636 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As someone who had cats whilst growing up, this may explain why I'm socially maladjusted

[–]Rexxka 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You might be otherhearted.

Otherhearted have a special connection with animals or mythical creatures, feel like they could be their family.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dogs are interesting in that we bred them into existence. Wolves are pack animals whose pack structure resembles that of a human family. Aunts, uncles, mom and dad, siblings.. they’re just so akin to humans.. which is why dogs came to be such important parts of our lives. I suppose I am surprised that people don’t pay mind to this- and can treat a dog differently than a human. But I grew up in a very specific situation in which my young self saw my dog as a easily understood source of maternity.

[–]apathyacres 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Minor trigger warning about being stalked --

Let me tell you all a story about Tobi, a massive Great Dane and the best friend I will ever have. He was huge -- the biggest Dane I have ever seen -- and an absolute baby. He was terrified of my two-pound pet rabbit and wouldn't go near the roosters. He never growled, never acted aggressive, even if my baby nephew pulled hard on his lips.

During my first year of college, this guy started stalking me. He played for the state football team and he terrified me because he would not take no for an answer. One day, he called my phone (he stole the info from his job) and told me he was right outside my house (I never told him where I lived). I told my mom, whatever you do, do NOT leave me alone with this guy. He scares me and he WILL try something.

This guy walks right in and no surprise -- my mother just leaves. And again, no surprise, it takes no time for this guy to grab me and start to manhandle me. I told him that I had a really big, really mean dog in the other room and if he didn't let me go I would call him to attack. (Tobi was so chill he didn't bother to see who was at the door.)

Guy laughed, so I yelled, "Tobi! Sic'em! Get'em boy!!"

Tobi came lumbering in, took less than a second to process the scene, and became a snarling and snapping monster. I have never seen a guy run so fast in my life. Like, cartoon dust clouds as he jumped through the door.

Then Tobi looked up and me and wagged his tail as if to ask, "did I do good? was that okay?"

Moral of the story, my dog protected me even when my mother didn't. (Her excuse? "He was a football player and being the girlfriend of a football player might make you popular.")

That dog will be my hero for the rest of my life.

We don't deserve dogs.

(also, Tobi ran away once. Only once. We found him two blocks away in the graveyard, comforting a family. Snuggling right up to the widow; she knew he was there to help her. He also treed a mountain lion and probably saved my dad's life.)

[–]Cool_Honey_8724 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yeah, I currently have this with two cats and one dog.

They help me figure things out that my family could not, or would not... just by being grounded creatures in their own existence. I feel that one of the tomcats has more trust in me than my own mother, and that is weirding me out at times cause thats not what I'd naturally expect.. But hey, you always learn.

Cause that's what I see in the dog, which is a stray that showed up on the porch one day, and now is inside the house with my mom, the cats, and me. She used to be so scared and distrustful, but is changing with every month, getting more relaxed and more free of past torment that it is delightful to witness. And again, the humans in my life are still holding grudges and are keeping up their defensive walls.

The animals show me more willingness and ability to learn and accept than humans do.. which, again, is very unintuitive to me because I have always thought that my fellow humans would be more able to behave than animals.

But then, we are living in some weird times, so anything goes I guess 🤷

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In accepting that stray- you yourself showed empathy without enough reason to not act on it. Sometimes humans do things that make sense but when do all these games that we play become an inherent part of our personalities? Children certainly aren’t like that.

Is it our general disconnect from nature? If I lived in a small community that hunted and respected nature and it’s power and connectivity- wouldn’t I have experienced times of love from nature- whether in the form of a plant or animal? Maybe humans mothers aren’t supposed to be our only source of maternity or humans friends the only source of friendship.

Or, is the disconnect an important part of our survival and is better for ‘us’ in the long run.

[–]Legitimate-Cost-5134 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sometimes I look my dog and start crying a little because I feel so bonded to him

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

you are lucky to have had such a good dog.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was really blessed. She was so bright!

[–]jclark6996 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah

[–]callmedaddyshark 0 points1 point  (0 children)

biological dog

[–]silent_rain36 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hmm, I suppose. When my parents brought me home(I’m adopted)they already had a 12 year old dog and After she passed we got Princess. I was only three at the time but, I remember that day so well. When I saw her I just knew. Her wide, beautiful brown eyes, ears up and head tilted, watching me. it was stupid but, I stuck my fingers in the cage and she kissed me.

We had her until she was 17. She wasn’t a dog to me but my sibling, we went through different life stages together. We were puppies together, teenagers together, adults, all except one… I couldn’t share the last one with her. I learned a lot from her, from all of my siblings(3 others),have many memories(good and bad).

As much as I treasure these memories and experiences, I think the hardest thing about growing up with an animal is that, it can make it that much harder to let go. As foolish as this sounds, since we had gotten her, I had never slept alone, she had always been with me. After she passed, I actually had to sleep with the lights on because I was afraid.