A girl we work with was sent home crying today. Speculation was rife as to the reasons why, but as always happens, the truth eventually surfaces through the murky gossip and it wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped. Her dog was ill and the vet might have to put it down. Okay, so the dog might die. Is it really worth crying over? I asked some of the guys who I work with what they thought, because to me, forming an emotional attachment to an animal is an alien concept. I cannot envisage feeling anything remotely like affection for something a cat or a dog. Chorby said he has done it with a dog but not with a cat, which caused howls of laughter due to how juvenile I was feeling at the time. “You have done ‘it’ with a dog?” Hahahahaha.
Sy said that if his cat was to die he would have to take a day off. He would be that upset. I just don’t get it. I don’t believe it is possible to love something which cannot love you back. It is the same with a person. Unrequited love is not really love, it is lust, envy, jealousy, a yearning, but not real love. Real love is only when it is returned, when it is shared. I do not believe that it is possible for an animal to love. I believe that love is a ‘human emotion’, an emotion which requires a degree of intelligence which mere animals do not possess. I believe that animals can be loyal, obedient, responsive, but not loving. I believe that humans mistake their feelings for animals for love when they feel the same way about any other material object. Someone might cry when their computer is broken or stolen, when their favourite CD is lost. It depends upon the level of involvement one has with the object in question. But love? No. Not possible.
Another interesting thought I had about this was regarding the fact that the dog was to be put down because it was ill and their were no other alternatives. No cure, a terminal illness. What a fucking great idea. If it can’t be cured, if it will cause you a slow and painful death and if you will spend the interim period prone to illness, sickness. If your life will be affected in a negative way, then opt for a visit to the vets. Why do animals get all the luck? If they are ill, we kill them. Quick, painless, merciful. If we’re ill we test, draw blood, scan, poke, prod, cut, hack, slice, chop. We suffer as part of our cure, and on occasions where that cure will not be successful I’d rather go for the quick and painless option.
Maybe we do love our pets after all. Maybe we love them more than our family. Perhaps I have got it wrong. We do not let our animals suffer, but we will do everything we can to sustain the life of a “loved one” despite the pain, discomfort and torment they are going through.