Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

April 6th, 2015

Your Child Broke Her Arm? Put Her to Sleep.

By Tara

You heard that right.

That probably churns your stomach; fills you with rage. How could they say that? This is a child we are talking about. “My child!”

I saw this post on the Great Dane lovers Facebook group:

I hope you all don’t mind but, I just need to vent for a minute. Our dane Zeus was recently diagnosed with Atypical Addison’s the cost for his diagnosis and treatment was right around 3,000. He was in crisis and we almost lost him. This was everything we had in savings and it was worth every penny. Well, we finally get him feeling pretty good and moving around again and the silly dog falls off the couch in such a way that he tore his ACL. This trip cost us 300.00. The cost of the surgery is 2900.00. We will come up with the money somehow, not sure how but, we will. I have had 3 people tell me so far just to put him to sleep. Really??? He is a 2 year old baby and the love of my life and our family is just supposed to put him to sleep?? I understand if it was something terminal or he was very old, but a torn ACL in a 2 year old?? I just don’t understand people. Maybe I am wrong but it sure doesn’t feel wrong.

And it made me so mad.

I know that it is a lot harder to understand the love a person can have for their pet than it is to understand the love a person has with their child. You created the child with your own body (oftentimes). Your child is a member of your species. Your child is intelligent and someone you can easily communicate with (versus a pet who doesn’t speak English and never will). You will more likely sink a lot more into your child. Your child will live a longer life than a pet. Your child will likely contribute more to society to your pet.

I get it.

Maybe you don’t feel the same about pets. I have heard a few people actually be offended that someone else believes a dog is just like a human child. That’s fine. You can feel that way totally and completely. “Dogs are dirty,” “they’re difficult to train,” “they’re not worth it.”

But to some, their dog is so silly and never fails to put a smile on their face. Their dog is a companion ready to go whenever they are. Their dog loses her mind when they come home, while their wife sits in the living room and shouts a “hello!” from the couch. Their dog is the only being in the world that loves them without abandon.

I’m not trying to convince anyone that pets are better than children or that they should understand that pets are “the same” as children (I put it into quotes because I don’t want to express any of my own opinions about this). I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything.

Except for this:

Respect your fellow humans.

Just because you don’t understand a feeling doesn’t mean you should be insensitive. You know how it made you sick to your stomach that I suggested you put your child to sleep just because she broke her arm? It made him sick to his stomach that you distastefully said he should put his otherwise-healthy-and-young dog to sleep. If you are close enough to him that you know about his dog’s recent medical problems, you should be kinder to his feelings. Especially since this isn’t an inanimate object we are talking about. It’s a living, breathing, loved one.

Plus, who are you to voice an opinion about how he spends his money? Mind your own business! Everyone should mind their own business, whether they think dogs are better than kids or vice versa. The world would be super boring if we all had the same priorities.

You don’t have to understand, you don’t have to agree, you don’t have to feel the same way. You just need to respect his feelings.

By the way, here’s Zeus, one of the luckiest Danes in the world: