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‘Animal Companion’ vs. ‘Pet’

Terms are important. Words have an energy. It took me awhile to understand and believe that because I heard for so long ‘it’s only a word’ but I now truly believe differently. Words do impact us and they can hurt.

I struggled with the words I would use in my blog. And will continue to do so. Do I say ‘pet’ which I really don’t like, or do I say ‘animal companion’? I like the latter better but it still doesn’t begin to describe the relationship I have with Maggie, Tara and other animals in my life. The meaning they have in my life. What they have brought, and continue to bring, into my life.

When I sent out the e-mail to all my friends and family announcing that this blog was up and running, I asked for input. Someone noted that I might consider using ‘animal companion’ and not ‘pet’. I couldn’t agree more!

However, in order to have tag words that Google noted are the most commonly searched, I needed to use particular terms — ‘pet’ was among the most frequently used. So that is why ‘pet’ is included in many of my titles. When you read the blog you will see that I refer to ‘my animal companions’ far more frequently than ‘pet’. So please send the term ‘pet’ positive energy whenever you see it in my blog and know that I certainly don’t consider Maggie or Tara ‘pets’. I use the to reach more people and hopefully help them on their journey with their animal companions.

Research I just did into the word ‘pet’ made my feelings even stronger! When I looked up the definition of pet on Google, Witktionary.org defined a pet as ‘An animal kept as a companion’ and ‘One who is excessively loyal to their superior’. How awful!!! I do not consider Maggie, nor Tara, as ‘kept as a companion’ or my ‘inferior’! Quite the opposite in fact. I consider myself fortunate to have them agree to come into my life — they are not ‘kept’.

Inferior? Hah, I hope to reach their level of consciousness at some point in my life. Imagine what it would be like to be able to love someone unconditionally! To let the crap, the hurt, the importance we humans place on material things, etc. etc. etc. go and just be – just be in touch with our true selves. Oh Universe, give me that wisdom! How could anyone imagine those beings as inferior? Or us as superior?

Thefreedictionary.com defined pet as ‘An animal kept for amusement or companionship.’ How awful to imagine ‘keeping Maggie for amusement’! She does bring much joy and laughter into the world, and creates fun in my life but that is something we share together. Something she gives freely.

So I thank my friend for bringing this up so that I would address it directly and not just assume that everyone would know where I was coming from by using the term ‘animal companion’ in the text of my blog! It reaffirmed for me how important it is to clearly communicate, and not make assumptions. As well, it gave me an opportunity to talk about some of Maggie and Tara’s wonderful traits and the amazing things they have done for me!

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