What do you think when people lose a dog/cat & say it's like they lost a child?

My dog Sherlock - I don't have a child. - This is my lovely dog Sherlock. He is the light of my life, but I don't think I would be as devastated over losing him, as I would a child.
@AmbiePam (48571)
United States
March 23, 2007 3:49pm CST
I don't know how many times I've heard people say this on the TV news, and in real life. They lose a dog or cat and tell someone it's just like they lost a child. Some people who live by themselves, I can kind of understand why they feel that way - it's all they have. Especially those who are disabled and cannot get out a lot. However, I've seen grief stricken parents, and I think how could someone compare the loss of a pet to the loss of a human child? What do you all think?
16 people like this
39 responses
@bgerig (1259)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I think that they hold the animal in their heart as a very important person/pet and that they are, in fact, grief stricken. I think people can have unlimited amount of love including enough love for hundreds of childrens, family members, friends....many of which may have four legs and not be of the human race.
4 people like this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
Eloquently stated.
1 person likes this
@jennifer611 (2502)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I think if they say they love it like a child then they do. who cares if I have children already or if I am not disabled. only a disabled person or single person is allowed to love a cat or dog? I have had animals that I do love that much. and I have children too.
3 people like this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I'm sorry you are so sensitive about this. This is not an offending discussion. Anyone can love an animal, with no limitations.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 07
people who aren't really into animals can't understand the way we feel about them.I don't have any kids and to me ,they are like having kids. When i lost one,it cut so deep it was like losing a human child.They are so loyal and loving and it's not hard to let a pet into your heart and have them be like kids
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
23 Mar 07
My mom said she hopes I never marry and animal lover, because if I ever had any help with my love for caring for pets, I'd have my own animal shelter. They just get to me. How can anyone help it? : )
2 people like this
@david583 (55)
• Australia
23 Mar 07
Our dog is a beloved member of our family and her loss would be devastating to us all. But to compare this to the loss of a child ( of which I have 5 ) is almost insulting. Yes we love our pet but it cannot compare with our children. Our dog will never grow up and leave us to make us proud on the world stage.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
23 Mar 07
That is how most of the people I know personally, feel.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Well.....I'm one of those that is guilty as charged. Granted it would be a million times more painful to lose my human children, a pain that would be near impossible to get past. But my pets are like children to me as well. I have always been that way. I am very attached to my pets, and when I have lost one, it has felt as if my heart was ripped out and torn to pieces. I think it all just depends on how a person views their pets...as animals/belongings, or as a trueblue member of the family.
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
23 Mar 07
My Aunt Lana - This is my Aunt Lana. She adores all creatures. I don't think she would or has killed a fly. She has also had three children. Her first child didn't live past delivery. I know which hurt her worse.
And there is nothing wrong with it. I think that is understandable. I love my puppies an awful lot.: ) I just wonder sometimes if people who have lost a child find that offensive.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 07
Yes I do believe that. A pet is very important to the owner.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I would never doubt that. I've had animals all my life.
1 person likes this
@pix_trix (447)
• India
24 Mar 07
yes this is absolutely correct. my cousin recently bought a new pup a few days back. it was barely 20 days old, and we actually had to take care of him like a baby.. feed him milk, make him sleep, cover him with blankets so he doesnt catch cold, clean his business n stuff.. it was actually a tough task. and when u see him grow, when u see him start running, barking, doing things he wasnt doin before.. it really is the same feeling we have when we see a baby grow up! when they die, it seems like u ve lost a member of their family, it hurts.. obviously it cant b compared to parents who ve lost their human child.. but then those who ve lost their pet wont think of this.. for them at that moment, one family member is no more!
1 person likes this
@pix_trix (447)
• India
24 Mar 07
wow, thanks for marking me the best :) wasnt expecting it at all.. hehe. thanks again.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
25 Mar 07
You're welcome. You deserved it. : )
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
26 Mar 07
Pets who are with people for a number of years do become like members of the family. I have 4 children and two pets. The pets are just like two additional children to me! When someone speaks of losing a pet, I treat them just as if they have lost a child. I allow them to verbalize their feelings about the pet, how much they loved it, special things the pet did etc. They need to mourn that loss just as any other loss.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
26 Mar 07
That's right. Even if our own perception of their loss is not the same as their own, it doesn't make that person's loss any less real.
• United States
24 Mar 07
I agree with you on the fact that how can it be the same as loosing a child. It is a terrible thing to loose a child and can't be compared to loosing a animal I don't think. They are 2 different things. I know some people think the world of there animals but can't be compared in my book.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
That's how most of the women I know with children feel. They've had both, and they usually place more importance on the possibility of losing a child.
• United States
24 Mar 07
I think it depends on the person who owns the animal and what kind of a bond they share together. I am a caring individual who loves my animals, all of them. I used to breed dogs and had to stop because I would get so emotional when I had to let go of the puppies. My animals are an extension of my family, I love them dearly. When one of my dogs came up missing I was devastated. To this day I don't know what happened to him, he just dissapeared. That night when I came home from work and he didn't come up to great me, I knew something was wrong, I walked the neighborhood for hours calling for him and asking neighbors if they had seen him. I cried for months and even now am tearing up just thinking about him. This happened eight years ago and I don't think I will ever get over it. So, for some, pets are just like having children and I am one of those people.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
There does seem to be such a bond. When my dog was stolen, before I even arrived home, I just knew he was gone.
@KrauseHome (35026)
• United States
24 Mar 07
I feel there is nothing wrong with considering a Dog part of the family, and just as important as children are. They always say Dogs are a mans best friend, and in a lot of respects, I feel this is True. My sister has only one Child, but since she also owns 2 Black Labs that are male, she says she has 3 boys. They take their dogs everywhere with them, and they are a joy to be around. But I know some who even sign their Pets name with their Christmas Cards they send out every year. Actually, I see nothing wrong with that. Their is no reason why you cannot consider a pet part of your family. If we had more time to own a pet, I am sure we would, but since pets take a lot of time also, we have chosen not to own one.
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
Oh, there is no doubt pets are part of my family. I call them my babies. I just don't know if I'd put them on the same level as my child, if and when I have one.
• China
24 Mar 07
I've also heard people say that. i think the reason that someone compare a pet to a human child is because they believe animals do have sentiment, especially dogs. there are many reports said that some dogs save their owner's life when in danger. that explains this clearly. animals are just like human beings, they also have sentiment. they understand what people are thinking about. ususally, disabled people are much more addicted to their pets. that's because they share their feelings with the pet. they think normal people cannot understand them, but the pet can. they regard the pet as their friends, even their soul-mate. you can imagine how depressed you will be when lossing a soul-mate.
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
That is a very good explanation.
• Singapore
24 Mar 07
I don't think there's anything wrong with that. When someone pours her feelings into her pet, it is like a mother showering her love on her child. A pet may not be a human, but it is a life nevertheless. This is at least more acceptable then someone crying over the loss of some inanimate doll! :P
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
You got that right! LOL
@melody1011 (1665)
• India
24 Mar 07
I've had dogs almost all my life and losing each of them was heart breaking. They are all inside dogs and live with us. I've never had children and so have never known the loss of one (thankfully and hope i never do) but the pain and the grief is like losing a family member. I guess you cannot estimate the feelings you have until you have lost that person and the same holds true for pets as well. They become such an intergral part of your life. You get used to them being around and they depend on you just like children do, for food, bathing, grooming, looking after in general and the love they show is soooo much more that a person even sometimes. Unconditional love and no questions asked.
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
People promise unconditional love, but animals live that. They love you no matter what you do. Dogs really epitomize the phrase man's best friend.
@gleznov (391)
• United States
24 Mar 07
We have two kids, but our animals are like our children too. You have to understand, it's not about people vs animals, it's about the depth of the relationship the animal has within the family. If a dog becomes part of your daily routine, and there is a love between you, and the dog is always needing you and you love the dog, a bond develops and grows. This dog is always there with you, always around. He/she comes over and sits with you while you watch movies, plays with you when you're bored, tries to please you, and has a very sweet spirit. Now take that connection and multiply it across 10 years. Then watch the dog get hit by a car and die in your arms. Watch your children react to their friend who has been with them as long as they can remember being killed. Go through your daily routines and try NOT to notice that the dog is not there, after he/she has been there for so long. The loss of a pet, a really great pet, IS the loss of a member of the family. And since you wouldn't think of your dog as Uncle Ed, you would classify it more as "one of your children". After all, you feed it, house it, take care of it, find it if it's lost, take it to the doctor when it's sick... It is your baby. Don't underestimate the grief of someone who has lost a long-time animal companion. That pain runs DEEP.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
I remember finding my little dog Max on the side of the road one day. At the time, we lived in the country and he had a habit of finding ways out of the fence. I cried, but my mom cried more. The two sweeties I have now are just so precious to me. When I cry, they come and lick my tears. They feel our emotions so well.
• India
24 Mar 07
It all depends on the way we think. But then we should understand that these creatures may lack only in the sixth sense but have a keen sense of perception. They too have feelings as we humans have. Such kind of personal touch is an important parameter in binding human relations together amidst very many odds. For those who are physically challenged, those whose remain in solitude and for those who treat pets as thier ogd given adopted child, his fits exctly
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
I agree completely.
• Canada
24 Mar 07
I'd have to agree with that statement. When you've had a beloved pet you are close to, it is like losing a member of your family. Ok, perhaps it's not quite the same as losing a child, but I think it's just a terminolgy many of us use, because our pets mean so much to us and they are literally a member of our families. While I know it would be more difficult to get over the loss of a child, I still mourn the loss of each of my pets, and still find it difficult to deal with because I do love them so much!!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
It's hard to think of a down side to love, but the pain a person feels after losing a pet is so hard, and when you hear people say, oh, it's just a dog, it usually makes me angry because the person saying that has no concept of what you felt for another loving creature.
@cmkdc33 (47)
• United States
24 Mar 07
Well, I believe that it's always going to be tougher when you lose a child rather than a pet dog/cat because if you're a mother for example, you carried that child for nine months so it's a part of you. That connection you have with that child cannot be compared to anything not even another human being much less a dog or cat. Of course, like you said, it's understandable if somebody who's never had a child or someone that can't have a child can get hit hard if they lose their pet because they probably considered that pet one of their own. I know of people that can't have children so they got pets instead and treated their pets like they were real human beings. They even slept in the same bed! Sometimes I think people go overboard with their pets. Nowadays, you see pets with better expensive clothes than I do! Damn that Paris Hilton...haha
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
Yes, I do think Tinkerbell (Paris' dog) does wear more expensive outfits than I do. The question is, which one of us looks better in a bathing suit...: )....My money is on the dog.
• Bangladesh
24 Mar 07
Any living object or inanimated object with which we share our experiences f life creats a deep impact in our mnd . So irrespective of its a dog or human being if anything of such nature disappeares from our life for sometime or for good ,it will give a shock wave in our mind. So I wont think it is a a matter of comparison but a matter mind and phycological impact or behavioural nature of human being that you have lesser control on it.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
Did you ever take psychology? : ) Your answer is very good.
• United States
24 Mar 07
Cat daughter - I would be lost without her!
Losing anyone is hard. I can see and have felt the affects of losing a pet. It's terribly sad and painful.:( I can understand why people would be devestated. I dont have kids either - so if I lose my baby girl,I'd be completely grief stricken.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48571)
• United States
24 Mar 07
Your cat is precious. : )