To me, my pets are some of the most important things in the world. I never thought an animal could almost “control” my life the way my pets do, but here we are. My dog Dixie is 11 years old. Sure, her age is starting to catch up with her and she is starting to slow down and tire easier. Physically she is slowing down. Affection wise is another story. Dixie is the pet I go to when I am having a bad, rough, shitty, or just off day. I know it’ll all be ok when I vent to Dixie. She just gives me those sympathetic “It’s ok Tom” puppy dog eyes and I just melt. That always seems to do the trick. It’s like she knows I am upset and knows she is my main means of calming down in that situation. I think she realizes that and is always there for me in that regard. Here’s why I vent to Dixie more than I do to my actual parents or human friends: Dixie can’t talk. She just sits there, listens, and occasionally will lick my hand or put her paw on my arm. People gossip about shit all the time and I am usually not one to hurt people’s feelings intentionally or unintentionally. So I know if I complain to someone about another person, eventually word might get out to that person and start a whole clusterfuck of a situation I don’t want to get involved in. Inevitably, it’ll turn into “Tom said this about so-and-so” and I will have to defend why I said it in the first place. Dixie really is my go-to when I am having a rough day. I know she understands what I am saying because she responds accordingly.

My other pet is my 3 month old kitten, Tigger. Tigger is a wild child. He is my responsibility. Tigger is the cutest little kitten ever! (And yes I am being biased). He gets into all kinds of trouble and mischief but MAN DO I LOVE THAT LITTLE KITTY! I am absolutely amazed at how much he has grown just within a month. To me, it’s incredible! My little boy is growing up. I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, but after dealing with Tigger and his childlike shenanigans for a little over a month, I think I have an idea. I am constantly going “No Tigger!”, “Bad Tigger!”, “Down Tigger” and “No. I am NOT feeding you again, Tigger!” So yeah…tough love. But he really is the sweetest, most affectionate little thing! He actually sleeps in bed with me at night. I lost some sleep the first week I had him because he was so small, I thought I was going to roll over and squish him. He is really funny! He will jump in the air, climb screen doors, chase after you, run under and into cabinets to hide in…just a little Hellraiser. But boy do I love him!

My pets are my life, in a way. OK, yes I have human friends and have a life outside my pets. I go to my agency every day, work, hang out with friends…but my pets are always on my mind. “Are they ok?” “Should I stay home with them while my parents are out?” “Who is going to look after the animals while we’re away?” So in a way, my pets kind of control my life. I never thought animals could have that kind of power. My old dog Buster taught me the hard way that losing a pet is just as hard, if not harder, than losing a “real” family member. I was actually more upset when Buster died than I was when my grandfather died. I’d lost my best friend, and it hurt. That, to me, is kind of a testament of how impactful animals can be on their owners.

So I want to hear from you. Do you have any pets? And if so, what impact or role do they play in your life? Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading your comments!



Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

One thought on “MY PETS”

  1. You know I have my baby Merlin who is my little guy. He is 12 years old and he still acts like a puppy. When my dad decides to board him at our vets office instead of letting me take care of him it hurts me because I feel like I should be the one who responsible for my boy. He is the one who I go to when I am having a rough or an off day. He has picked me and I feel so lucky that he did. He is my fur baby who I love more then words can ever describe! When I am at my dad’s house we are inseparable! My sweet baby boy Merlin!


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