A pet is not a child, some say…..

A pet is not a child, some say…written by Diane Tegarden on April 23, 2010- dedicated to Maya

A pet is not a child, some say,
but let’s just think on that,
as you watch your pet born into the world
you share its first moments.

You teach your furkids all the rules
the do’s and don’ts of life,
you teach them manners and morals,
to always do what’s right.

There are things they should
and should not do
and consequences
for acting out.

They must not destroy your possessions,
not to mention your house,
they must not tear up your garden
or your slippers, clothes and shoes.

In what way are they not our children?

You buy them their own bed and toys
and teach them to share with their siblings,
you frown when they play too rough and
pray they behave when company comes over.

When they get sick, you rush them to the doctor
and hold them when they cry.
Once a year, they get their shots
to keep them bright and healthy.

Then, there are all those special dates
like birthdays, to remember,
as well as all those duller tasks,
like taking them to the dentist.

You hurt when they are hurt,
and you can feel their pain,
you cry inside, and try to be brave
as you sit helplessly cuddling them.

In what way are they not our children?

As they mature, you watch them grow,
taking tons of pictures and videos.
They soon outgrow your baby toys
and cute little childhood habits.

As adults,
they may have children of their own,
and then you’re a grandparent
wondering where the time went.

Then comes the time
when they start to show their age,
they scamper less and lounge in the sun
their movements growing slower.

You must be careful with them
because now they are older, arthritis in the joints
causes them to move much slower
and their eyes to grow much dimmer.

In what way are they not our children?

You feed them special diets
and herbal supplements,
you massage their tired bones,
with special lineaments.

Then comes the day you have dreaded
when heart and mind must fail,
you’re never ready for them to go
but one day, they simply leave you.

And the hole in your heart seems to bleed without stopping,
everything reminds you of them.
There is nothing that can be said or done
to ease the pain that they are now gone.

As years go by,
you realize that they cannot be replaced,
you build memorials and talk about them
and honor their memories.

In what way are they not our children?


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