I just recently became a grandparent for the very first time. (insert obligatory applause here) Thank you, thank you but I really didn’t have a whole lot to do with it. It is true, there is no other feeling quite like it. You are so very proud, so moved, and so much in love with the baby that you don’t know what to do with yourself. And I’m talking about your child, the baby you had, that now has one of its own! As for the infant; words cannot begin to express the depth of love you feel for this little addition to the family.
This being a blog about pets (not grandparents) I’d better make the connection. Based on our dog, I truly believe they get it. Don’t ask me how, I don’t have the answer. Here is what I do know. The first time that baby came into our house, the very first time, our Boxer (who always greets us enthusiastically) ran right past us to the new born. A couple of gentle sniffs and she would not leave the little ones side. I sat down and held the child, she came up to the couch, took a look, one more quick sniff and then sat at my feet for as long as I held the child. When my spouse took the baby, she moved with the baby. When laid in the crib, our dog posted up by the crib. She became the boys’ guardian angel, vigilantly keeping watch no matter where he went. And it took just a matter of moments to have created that bond!
I ran across the story of Thor, a pit bull who saved his young family in Indiana. It’s a really remarkable story that speaks not only to the heroism of one dog, but the bond that forms between pet and owner (and owner’s child!) I’d like to think we have a potential hero in our house, and no, I’m not talking about me (though it is not really that much of a stretch… oh, heck, who am I kidding)!
Do pets love? Do they have emotional attachments? I find those questions ridiculous! I believe they are far more complex than we even know. They are family members by any definition you choose. Their relationship with us is far more than just a free and easy food source. It is more than just loyalty because of the roof over their head. It is deeper than simply being trained to be obedient, it is a tie so deep, it can only be love. “Experts” can try and tell me differently, but I can only believe what I have experienced and observed. Pets love and deserve to be loved like family members. Given the opportunity, they might even become heroes.