I have always dreamed of having a pet – dogs and iguanas. However, I don’t think having a pet is very common. Many of my friends have pets, mostly dogs, because they like them. Most of them don’t have pets because they have to deal with families who don’t like pets.
While growing up, I did not have a pet because my mom is not a fan. And yes, a pet is a lot of responsibility and my parents did not want that when we were young. Eventually, we had a semi-pet, and we loved her. Now, when I am independent, I ended up marrying a man who is not an animal lover. So, in short, I can not have a pet.
However, after moving here, I realized that having a pet is the norm. You are an outcast if you don’t have a pet. Cats, dogs, reptiles, rabbits, guinea pigs – just everything! There are 19 million pets in India as of 2019. 67 per cent of US households, around 85 million families, have pets, again as of 2019. This is a considerable number – I couldn’t even find the exact amount of pets.
And pets are family – in every sense. As I mentioned in the first post of this series, you have to pay the rent for the pet because the community is pet friendly, and that requires maintenance. A pet has its paw-prints registered whenever it is adopted from a shelter. And it’s necessary for their identification.
Americans are lonely – the arrangement of nuclear families and not-so-close neighbourhood culture is to be blamed for that maybe! I don’t know if that is a negative or positive trait of society. Still, I know that it has left everyone pining for companionship. And dogs and cats have been domesticated for so long that they are the closest when it comes to fellowship. I don’t think there is anything wrong in it.
This is another way of life here which is pretty fascinating. It takes a lot of time to adjust to it. People in general take it for granted that everyone is a pet parent. And there are some harsh judgements and glances received when you are not!