Tuesday, July 31, 2012
My Childless Dog and I
I live with a dog named Annie. She's almost 4 1/2, half Lab and half Staffordshire bull terrier. We started with two dogs, Annie and her brother Chico, but Chico got a little crazy and had to go live somewhere else. Losing my little boy broke my heart. But that's not the main topic today. The subject is how my dog and I are both childless.
As soon as Annie was old enough, we had her spayed, vet talk for a hysterectomy. We didn't ask her if she wanted to have puppies. Nor did we ask the two female dogs that preceded her in our lives. We just did it. We didn't want to acquire a houseful of puppies, and I never wanted to face the heartbreak of giving them away and separating them from their mother. I know that's the way it goes, and the dogs are probably fine. Annie's mom seemed relieved when the puppies were gone. When Annie met up with her mother more than a year after we adopted her, they fought, and we had to pull them apart.
We hear a lot about the need to spay and neuter our pets to keep from having too many unwanted animals, and most of us do it because we really only want the one dog or cat and we don't want the hassle of dealing with baby animals. We only allow our pets to mate when we want them to have babies. Otherwise, we strive to keep males and females apart.
Some advocates of the childfree lifestyle argue that we ought to do the same for people because there are too many of us. They fight for the right to have their tubes tied, often encountering doctors who refuse to do the surgery because they might change their minds.
Me, I never got spayed. I still have all my parts, but I never used them to make babies. Now Annie and I hang out together, two childless females mothering each other into old age.
Ellen Walker, author of Complete Without Kids, interviewed me about my book recently for her Psychologytoday.com blog, and it was published Sunday. Give it a look at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blogs/complete-without-kids/2012-7/are-you-childless-marriage. You might want to subscribe to her blog. It's full of good things, and we're all sisters in this childless game. Annie, too.