Tom McLaughlin: Dogs Instead of Children
Dogs Instead of Children
Wed, 07/11/2012 - 6:46am
Posted by tommclaughlin
As a kid, I remember driving to the beach on hot summer nights in July and August after my father came home from work. There wasn’t a lot of time before the sun went down and mosquitoes came out, but neighborhood kids would pile out of the family car (most had only one back then), drop their towels, and run to the water. I was reminded of this recently as I’ve been spending a few hot, summer evenings at a local beach in South Portland, Maine after working all day fixing up the house my wife and I recently purchased as an investment. A few young parents would bring their children down in the late afternoon and then take them home again for supper.
More numerous, however, were people who brought their dogs. They would have been young parents two generations ago but now they’re pet owners. Arriving at the edge of the sand, they’d let their dogs off leash and they’d run to the water’s edge, then back to their owners. Soon, it became evident how greatly dogs outnumbered children.
The children seemed to know each other as did the dogs; it was a neighborhood beach. They were all fairly well-behaved and had a good time, but I couldn’t help thinking about what a major cultural shift I was witnessing.
Have you noticed how many young couples are getting dogs instead of having children? They’re putting off babies, or they’ve decided they don’t want children at all. Children are a lot of work - a lot of commitment. They’re expensive. They live longer than dogs too, and they demand much more time and attention. They require self-sacrifice. But what’s to become of us all if this trend continues?