Do You Think of Pets as Your Children or Your Peers? These Parents Can't Agree

When one woman referred to the family dog as her most well-behaved child, her husband had a totally different opinion of what role the dog plays.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Oct. 16 2023, Published 5:51 p.m. ET

My dog is my daughter, and every pet I've ever had has also been my child. Even when I myself was a kid, those sweet critters were my perfect little babies. It should be noted that I've never wanted children, and I continue to not want them to this day. And yet, my beautiful dog daughter is one of the best parts of my entire existence. Without her, I would crumble to the ground.

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This is why I know exactly where I stand when it comes to a question posited by Katelyn on TikTok. She views the family dog as yet another kid in need of parenting. Her husband, on the other hand, has the wildest notion I have ever heard. Truly this thought has never crossed my mind, and I have let some really unhinged ideas into my brain. Read on to see where you fall in what could be the next great internet debate.

A dog sits on a bed next to a book
Source: Instagram/@duckytisdale

My dog Lorraine is an avid reader

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A dog by any name is your child.

When I'm referring to myself while chatting with my dog, which I frequently do, I say Mommy. In other words, if it's time for my dog to go for a walk I'll say something like, "Lorraine, wanna go out with Mommy?" It's me. I'm never the problem.

I'm not entirely sure Katelyn, go goes by @itsme_kb on TikTok, gets this deep into the roles but she is definitely maternal when it comes to her pup. Katelyn's husband has a different relationship with the family pet. Again, I cannot fathom feeling the way.

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"OK, this blew my mind," said Katelyn in her TikTok. I could not agree more. "I have to know if anyone else feels this way," she continued. Clearly I do.

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It all started when Katelyn and her husband were lying in bed together. They had just gotten their human children to hit the hay, and were snuggling with their dog. "Our dog was laying between us, as she often does," explained Katelyn in the video. That's correct.

Half-jokingly, Katelyn said their dog was the "best behaved of all her children," which surprised her husband. Here's the craziest part: His shock had nothing to do with Katelyn comparing their dog to their children. This was based on something else entirely.

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"Do you think of her as a child" asked Katelyn's husband. "You don't think of her as one of us?"

My initial reaction was, does this man see their dog as a human? Because that is a bridge too far. Thankfully that wasn't it.

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Apparently Katelyn's husband considers their dog to be a third adult in the house while Katelyn is raising this sweet girl like she's one of their own. Part of me understands why Katelyn's husband feels this way. Now that he's a dad, his brain knows there are children around so the dog defaults to a peer.

Obviously I agree with Katelyn because my dog is my daughter and I'm parenting her as I type. Unlike adults and like children, dogs depend on us for survival. If my dog was more like a roommate, I probably wouldn't be feeding her every night. Using this logic, I can't view my dog as anything other than a dependent.

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Screenshot under dog child or adult TikTok
Source: TikTok/@itsme_kb (screenshot)

OK but husbands are not children

People in the comments were all over the place, though everyone had some sort of specific household role in mind when thinking of their pet. "We don't have kids yet, so our dog is our baby, but I had him before we got married, so he is also my roommate from college," said one person. I love this. That person's dog is growing with them and maybe eats their food, even it's labeled. Why can't a college roommate get their own ramen?

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A lot of folks said they thought of their husbands as the children which really made me sad. I'm sure it's a joke but all I can think about is how men sometimes weaponize incompetence so much so that you're the only one who goes to the grocery store because they can't find anything. They can't find anything in the store with all the employees and the carefully marked aisles?

In a follow-up video, Katelyn addressed a comment that kept popping up. Apparently several people in the replies of her original TikTok were afraid Katelyn's husband wasn't taking equal care of the dog because he didn't think of it as a child. Not only is that false, but Katelyn said her husband actually does more of the dog work. It sounds like her husband is just unwilling to admit that their dog is his child.

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