I still don't agree with it one hundred percent. I have always driven home to my sons (and my husband) that human lives trump animals lives. When we practice our family fire drills, I say they are to save themselves from the smoke and flames and not stop or return to save our pets. I read aloud and moralize news stories about people dying because their dog's fallen through the ice and they think they can save him/her. I never want to know what it's like to lose a child (**knock on wood**), and I will not insult grieving parents by equating Falafel with a human. But "parent" and "child" are the terms that best describe the affectional bond I shared with Falafel.
I ache for her. She was 6 months old when we adopted her, and she was fully dependent on us for the necessities of life. We gave her food, shelter, affection, and protection. She gave us love and asked for nothing in return. The energy in our house is off-kilter because we are missing one of our family. She is suppose to be here to gobble up the last slice of the cucumber, and share my banana at breakfast. We held her close when assholes set off firecrackers. There is a towel hanging in the back hall so we can wipe the snow from her feet when she comes inside. We did these things because she was a part of our family. Her reliance on us only increased as she aged and needed more and more medical intervention. Our love for her is fierce. Our willingness to support and sacrifice for her well-being never waivered.
She was like a child to us, and I hope that she thought of us as her parents.
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I wrote the post for my own peace of mind. I'm turning off the comments because I am emotionally unable to debate or defend myself to those who disagree.