Did you know that under the law pets are seen as replaceable property? That’s right, the law essentially treats losing a pet the same way as losing a table. In honor of Chloe the Mini Frenchie, Loni Edwards’ beloved dog who passed away due to medical error, PetInsider will be featuring a story every Wednesday about pets being family, not property. Please join us by reading the stories and signing the pledge we created with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) to push for change.
I sit here writing this with Cosmo, aka The Blorp, on my lap. He’s one of the office dogs here at PetInsider. I carry his 20lb body here in a papoose for 45 min and on two subways twice a week. He’s an old soul–we think he’s about 6. He’d rather be sleeping at home, but he tolerates work for now. I bring him because A. I love him and I want to spend time with him and B. to save money. You see, Cosmo’s costs are our biggest expense after rent. Why is he our biggest expense after rent? Because we give him the best food, the best walkers, the best vets, the best trainers, and ensure his safety with the best equipment.
People often roll their eyes at people like me, people who treat their dogs like children. Listen, as far as my body is concerned, this dog is my child. There are numerous studies showing that interacting with dogs increases oxytocin, the chemical the brain produces when mothers bond with children. I’ve never had a child, and I’m also the youngest child in my family, so I don’t have a whole lot of experience with children. But I will tell you that Cosmo changed my life, and for all intents and purposes, he feels like a son. He has brought me enormous anxiety coupled with enormous joy. I thought, like most people, that I was, “just getting a dog,” but as soon as we picked up Cosmo from his foster home in Brooklyn, I knew he was so much more.
First, came the panic. I realized that I was cohabitating with another species that I knew very little about. Not only that, but I had a very shy dog who didn’t bark or advocate for himself–I had to learn to advocate for him. But next came the love. The more we learned about him (and let’s be real, the more we fed him) the more he loved us back. At first, if we got too close to his face, he would softly growl at us to let us know he was not comfortable. Slowly, but surely, he began not only licking our faces but friend’s and family’s faces too.
In the beginning, Cosmo would hide under the coffee table when the dog walkers came into the apartment, but about 8 months later I got a message from our dog walker describing Cosmo as, and I quote, “peppy”, and I swelled with pride.
Cosmo’s love brings me more joy than I could have ever imagined, and I plan on spending the rest of his life making him feel every ounce of the love I have for him. My whole heart revolves around keeping him safe and happy. I’m not sure what the best solution is legally, but I will tell you that this dog is my soul dog, my sweet sweet boy, and he deserves more than being classified as replaceable property in the eyes of the law.
Please join us in pushing for much needed change by signing and sharing the pledge (https://aldf.org/animalsnotproperty). Follow along every Wednesday for a new story, and sign up for our newsletter to receive it in your inbox.
Become an Insider
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong.