Sunday, June 28, 2015

Indoor Children, Outdoor Pets

I have allergies and as a child I was asthmatic.  I am allergic to cats and probably dogs as well.  Some of my children are likewise allergic to pets.

There are homes of family members and friends with pets that my children and I cannot visit because of our allergies.  When we do enter these homes, sometimes the allergic reaction is severe and sudden.  This makes me wonder:  With one in ten people being allergic to pets, why do people have pets in their homes?

I have also seen homes that were ruined by pet odors.  The owners are living in it without seeming to notice what is obvious to visitors.  Plus, pet owners are constantly having to manage the waste of their pets.  I wonder:  With the unsanitary conditions that pets create, why do people have pets in their homes?

I think people have pets in their homes to satisfy their drive to care for children.  Both young children and pets provide unconditional love and inspire instinctive affection.  The young children grow to become less affectionate juveniles, independent adults, and then lifetime friends.  The pets rapidly reach senescence.

A home is a place to raise children.  When all of the children have left the nest, there is a temptation to fill the void with indoor pets.  Doing so can ensure, however, that the home will no longer be healthy for visiting children, including any future grandchildren.

If it were not for the domestication of animals such as dogs, human civilization might not have flourished when it did.  Pets do have a place in human families.  That place is outdoors.