August 8, 2008, - 11:52 am

Get a Clue: Your Dogs Are NOT Your “Children”

By Debbie Schlussel
Several years ago, I wrote a column, “Pets: The New People.” I detailed how so many Americans treat their animals like–and actually better than–they treat people, lavishing them with gifts, aromatherapy, massages, and other exorbitant absurdities.
But it’s not just that. If I hear one more person tell me about their “kids”–which I initially believed were human–show me pictures of dogs or cats, or tell me about how well their “kids” treat them, when they are talking about pets, I think I’ll kill myself.
It’s in that vein that I was annoyed when reading the story about Berwyn Heights, Maryland Mayor Cheye Calvo and his wife, Trinity Tomsic (she won’t take his surname, so already there are issues). Yesterday, police raided their home and killed their dogs in connection with a large drug shipment. It was sent to them, but police say they are innocent victims who were among about six unsuspecting recipients.
Calvo and Tomsic held a press conference in which she cried and they showed a giant poster of their dogs:

mayordeaddogs.jpg

Our dogs were our children,” said the 37-year-old Calvo. “They were the reason we bought this house because it had a big yard for them to run in.”

While I feel for this couple and their pets probably shouldn’t have been shot, they need to wake up. I’m not for the wanton killing of animals, but your pets are NOT your children. They are not human. They will not take care of you when you’re old. They won’t have grandchildren named after you (unless you name their pups after yourself–a sad and sick thought). They won’t go to college or work in a job in the American economy. They cannot say your name or express love. They are NOT kids–at least not the kids of anyone with less than four legs.
The Calvo-Tomsics–or is that Tomsic-Calvos? hard to tell–want the Justice Department to investigate. I really hope American tax dollars aren’t going to such a ridiculous endeavor–to investigate the accidental shooting of dogs, who some deluded couple thinks are their kids. What happens when someone’s antfarm is accidentally stepped on by a fireman putting out a raging fire? I mean, aren’t they a little kid’s “kids,” too. Call in the cavalry.
And this couple are not the only ones guilty of this facade, this mental disorder brought on by the success of PETA and other animal rights groups.
So-called conservative Mark Levin has gone on and on and on, on his nationally syndicated radio show, about his dead dog, Sprite. Levin says his dog was a “hero” because it died of an illness. That’s heroic? Puh-leeze. It’s a fricking dog.
You hear so many human attributes given to this feline, I thought he transformed himself into Ingrid Koch of PETA. Frankly, if I were Levin’s real-life, human children, I’d be a little perturbed and jealous.
Memo to the world: Your dogs are NOT your children. Wake the heck up.

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36 Responses

From Debbie’s article:
“So-called conservative Mark Levin has gone on and on and on, on his nationally syndicated radio show, about his dead dog, Sparky. Levin says his dog was a “hero” because it died of an illness. That’s heroic? Puh-leeze. It’s a fricking dog.”
It’s funny you mentioned it. I heard him on his show a few times getting all choked up about his dog. He even wrote a book about it. I was wondering whether it was all an act to sell his book, or if he was a few cards short of a full deck. As a result, I cut way back on tuning into his show.
As many of you know, books about pets are big sellers.

Thee_Bruno on August 8, 2008 at 12:32 pm

While it’s a shame that this couple’s dogs were killed in this ‘raid’, I feel that we are missing the real point:
This appears to be a warrantless, no-knock assault on the home by a bunch of JBGT’s who stormed the house with guns drawn looking to shoot just about anything on any excuse.
It is fortunate that the home owners were not killed.
The real issue is the violation of the Fourth Amendment by a bully “law enforcement” agency who is primarily looking for assets to seize for their own financial gain.

Shootist on August 8, 2008 at 1:07 pm

First off, it’s Maryland and with that said he is probably a Democrat and his wife a feminist (since she wont take his last name) who married him for power and fame. Second of all look how many microphones are on the podium. It makes me sick that this is “news” in the nations eye. Reminds me of the photo of all the cameras that were pointed at Cindy Shehanigan and Al Sharpton at the grave of her son in TX. Just curious on when the ACLU or PETA will step in and say “their” version to pull over the sheeples eyes.

RadicalRightWinger on August 8, 2008 at 1:18 pm

I don’t know…..I’d take my dogs anyday over some HUMANS I’ve met….some people just should not breed.

jokermtb on August 8, 2008 at 1:54 pm

I’m inclined to think that the use of terms that are generally reserved for human beings, such as son, brother, father etc, are extended to refer to pets as a form of metaphor to indicate that the emotions that one feels towards these animals are higher than would be felt towards random creatures: a pigeon, a squirrel etc. The use of familial terms to refer to people or things that aren’t strictly in the family is rather common: people of a common religion often refer to one another as “brothers”, we talk about the Fatherland or Motherland. We even refer to people as being the father of a particular idea. James Hutton is considered the “father” of modern geology, even though he clearly isn’t a literal father and couldn’t be.
As for Calvo and Tomsic, it should be understandable to anyone with a beating heart that this would be an emotionally wrenching experience for them and ,in this instance, it seems perfectly understandable that they would resort to familial terms to articulate their grief. Remember, words are our servants, not our masters, so we use them however we feel necessary in the moment in question.
As for not taking the husband’s surname, while I don’t see it that would achieve, I fail to understand why that would indicate the dreaded “issues” that are so frightful. I suppose the entire population of Iceland are to be held in suspicion, since they operate using a patronymic (and occasionally matronymic) naming system whereby the the wife does not adjust her surname when she gets married. In fact there are no surnames there, and children adopt a name that literally refers to their relationship with their father: Jon’s children Gisli and Selma would be called Gisli Jonsson and Selma Jonsdottir. What a horrible place!
Ultimately, the idea of adopting the man’s surname at marriage is an entirely arbitrary convention that in no way indicates the level on one’s virtue or ethics.
And, as for PETA, I’m surprised you haven’t pointed out how they are taking advantage of Tim McLean’s grisly and tragic death by using it to equate it with eating chicken. That’s pretty much a new low for the organisation who’s name is epitomises the word “misnomer”.

Higgs Boson on August 8, 2008 at 2:02 pm

I once had a big dog named Sadie who was so incredibly loving and smart that I might want to make it news if she had been needlessly killed. For those of us who can’t/don’t have children the pets are the fill in. I completely agree that some animals have better character than some people. Many are smarter. Who cares about these folks politics. This was just wrong.
Miss Sadie is resting in peace with my Father these days. In an urn at his feet. Where she sat while they were both alive in the last year.

nyone on August 8, 2008 at 2:28 pm

I think these people could have accepted better the loss of their dogs had it not been so uneccessary. One, there was no legitimate reason the SWAT needed to do a dynamic entry. The stated reason was that the mayor’s mother-in-law screamed. Maybe that was becasue the Sherrif’s “SWAT” team was in plain clothes, wearing masks and carrying automatic weaopns approaching the house wehn she saw them. I’d dare say that would scare anyone. What, was the guy going to flush the 42 lbs of marijuana becasue he had the heads up? Please. I’m sure the guy had ZERO priors and as the freakin’ mayor, likely posed little threat (Kwame Kilpatrick this guy’s not)
One of his dog’s was shot running away. Now, I am not above putting down a dog if you have no choice. I will admit to having told people while making arrests that if they didn’t keep the dog away it could get shot. But shooting a dog in the back while it is running away? Was the dog going to get a weapon..maybe come back with some friends…dispose of the evidence maybe? This was not the PG County Maryland Police SWAT but the Sherrif department team from what I’ve read. Big diffference. They’ve got a right to be furious.

Staypositive on August 8, 2008 at 2:34 pm

“If I hear one more person tell me about their “kids”–which I initially believed were human–show me pictures of dogs or cats, or tell me about how well their “kids” treat them, when they are talking about pets, I think I’ll kill myself.”
Debbie, you shouldn’t be thinking about killing yourself over that. You should be thinking about killing the fools who are talking about their “kids”.
🙂

cinerx on August 8, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Your PETS are NOT you kids.

    Judy on October 9, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Dogs are NOT kids!! These people are mental.

    Judy on October 12, 2013 at 6:27 am

I agree that cats and dogs are not children. But, the pain of a sudden loss is still there regardless. A sudden loss that I might add caused by the Gestapo.
Anyone that comes into my home in the same manner as these SWAT and Sheriff’s did will be treated as armed intruders. I could care less about their ‘uniform’, they are an armed intruder none the less!! Just because one wears a ‘uniform’ does not mean that they are free to violate the Bill of Rights!! We are seeing more and more of these types of home invasions. There was an incident recently were the same thing happened and a shootout occurred between the police and the homeowner.
Whether the tyrants are police or politicians I will stand my ground with my home. One thing is certain. I know that I will not live but there will be fewer of them walking away from my home than what walked up to my home.

newinnewark on August 8, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Of course you’re right. Dogs are great pets, PETS! They don’t have human emotions or feelings. Humans are the only living beings that are aware of growing old and dying. Dogs will “love” the person that feeds them. Period! It’s great that people love and miss their dogs when they die. But they are animals, so-called intelligent dogs are taught repetition. Dressing dogs up in cold weather (what’s fur for?), taking them in strollers while walking thru malls, it’s hilarious. I know people that admit they would treat their dog better than a child! It’s mind boggling. More bubus Americans.

Marc on August 8, 2008 at 3:58 pm

I do sympathize with this couple. Yes, people do personalize their pets sometimes, and this is wrong, especially when done excessively. But I don’t know if we should judge this couple’s responses by looking at their reactions and words immediately after such a traumatic event as the police bursting in and just shooting their dogs out of the clear blue sky. Their affection they had for their pets would inevitably be very, very great in such a situation.

c f on August 8, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Many reasonable responses here. At my house, we don’t refer to our hoard of cats as “kids” but we do absolutely adore them. And, I would surely pity anyone who purposely hurt any one of the little bxstards. Lawsuits at least would follow. Like my vehicles, the cats are prized personal possessions. As for feminists, they are thoughtless victims of groupthink. The use of one’s maiden name after marriage is actually employed by many women in cases where their immediate family is the end of the father’s sirname. In my case for example, my sister and I are it. My mother’s family on the other hand has bred with an embarrassing degree of success. Thus, through two marriages I maintain Dad’s name. I’m a traditionalist and didn’t make the decision lightly. Men are generally strong of mind, back and character. Neither my ex nor my husband gave it much thought.

iowavette on August 8, 2008 at 4:22 pm

So, Debbie Schlussle, you are not concerned about out of control cops and a war on drugs that cannot be won?
I hope their lawsuit bankrupts the Prince George’s County government. The dogs should be irrelevant.
Did Charles A. Moose get a new job?.

Pelayo on August 8, 2008 at 6:40 pm

The point of this fiasco is that the Prince Georges County law enforcement is running amok. The county is a sewer and the lunatics are running the asylum. PGC is a corrupt county in a corrupt, one-party state where there is no accountability.
The idiot deputies need to be prosecuted. If anyone brutally killed MY dog I’d want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law–preferably executed.

lexi on August 8, 2008 at 8:35 pm

I completely agree. Dogs are not children; they’re employees.
Mine are great guard dogs, but when it comes down to it, I’d rather they take a bullet before my kids ever do. That’s the idea: animal takes the hit to protect the child of our Heavenly Father. Guard dogs make great frontline fighters for this very reason. If the mountain lions, thieves, or MS-13 are coming for a rumble, the dogs are going first to make some kills to improve my odds.
Folks who claim to replace real human children with inbred work animals is lazy and somewhat mental. If they don’t want kids, then fine. But don’t @#$% up the laws to reflect their crazy views.

bhparkman on August 8, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    I agree 100%

    Just looking at the defensive, moronic ,delusional posts of dog worshipers more than proves your point.

    It’s amazing to me that so many people are so blinded by their delusional emotional attatchment to a scavenger beast that eats it’s own poop and other gargabe, does nothing more than to enable their co-dependecy issues that borderlines on sociopathological ( just look at these posts).
    Dogs can be very happy without human ownership. If humans treated each other with the same reverence that they treat dogs it would be a much different world.

    Sanity on December 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Must be liberal Dems. Yup.
I would be scared if the cops busted in–in fact, they knocked the hell out of my door and threatened to come in once when they had the address of a call wrong. It’s frightening! You don’t know who it really is. But, please, killing the dogs is not the issue. Grow up, people!
A man in our area saw a huge mountain lion carry off his labrador and said he still would never have a gun in the house for protection. What a nancy boy! I’m sure his wife sleeps with one eye open now.

PJ on August 8, 2008 at 11:01 pm

You’re absolutely right Debbie. There’s something seriously wrong with these people. Dogs can be terrific companions and lots of fun. But when they upstage children and become the entire focus of your life, there is a serious problem.

joesixpack31 on August 9, 2008 at 1:24 am

Debbie, normally I agree with every single thing you say…except in this case…those dogs were more human than the JBGTs that killed them.. the main focus of this story needs to be yet another unconstitutional no knock warrant gone horribly wrong.

cambriana on August 9, 2008 at 2:59 am

Debbie like the other poster said…they aren’t human but I would take my DOG over most humans I’ve met. I don’t get my dog massages or filet mignon…but she is a member of my family, she does her job daily (protecting our family/home) and if anyone came through my door to do either of these harm they would be staring down the barrel of my ..45..my .357..or my .44 magnum. I have my rights too…and if you’re coming through my door….be ready…I’ll be with my dog at my side.

hwy1cat on August 9, 2008 at 8:10 am

I’m gonna second what cambriana and hwy1cat said. I usually agree with most everything you say ,Debby but in this case you’re wrong as well as the rest of the people sprouting stuff about ” personalizing” pets.
Your dog might not be human but to be honest that see that as a compliment. He will live and die for you and will never ask anything in return.When you accept a pet in your family you accept certain responcibilities–such as protecting him or her from some a-hole cops breaking into your place–your dog will do the same for you.That’s how those two dogs died and I complietly understand the outrage their owners feel. THe police department won’t even issue an appalogy.
To put it in two words–Debby,get a damn dog–you’ll know what I am talking about.I recomend a pitbull.

BESS on August 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

The police are COMPLETELY out of control. They have NO BUSINESS using those kinds of tactics for a bunch of weed. It’s outrageous. Then they track blood all over the house. They didn’t have to shoot the dogs, anyway. They are ARROGANT. They should be charged criminally for their wanton, negligent rampage and have the pants sued off of them.
Try shooting a police dog, and see if they consider the dog merely “property”.

John Harper on August 10, 2008 at 3:36 am

Anybody who shoots your dog deserves to get shot. These cops are a bunch of bastards, how dare they. They’re in for a surprise if they wrongly raid my house like those clown bounty hunters in AZ. I have a defensive position, and it’s bullet proof, and I have a lot of 30 rd magazines. These people who are ATTACKED have no idea who these idiots are when they come rampaging into your home commando style. They are morons. Cops never used to do things like this, they don’t have any sense or consideration anymore. They don’t have to shoot your dog, they do it because they can.

John Harper on August 10, 2008 at 3:47 am

Welcome to the War on Drugs which should be named the War on the Constitution. This is one of the main reasons that I resigned from Law Enforcement.
These SWAT raids used to be an unconstitutional(violation of Posse Comitatus Act) until GWB decided to sign the John Warner Defense Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 2007.
Thanks to Bush, the Posse Comitatus Act has been nullified for all intents and purposes and these SWAT(NAZI)raids will continue unless the American public is outraged.
These asset seizures are another abomination that do nothing but legalize theft by the Federal and Local Government without due process.
Right now it is the pets that are machine gunned down but if we allow this to continue, it will be US Citizens that are gunned down because of this War on Drugs.

ScottyDog on August 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm

My dog has very complex emotions, and is almost a person. They’re no replacement for people, but they’re not just property, either. These police remind me of the Kent State shootings, which was a hysteria. There was no threat. The police today have turned “drugs” and “drug dealers” into a bogeyman for which they can completely overreact. The anti-drug assault squads are 99% unnecessary.

Sue Denemme on August 11, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    It’s a HUGE INSULT to human life.

    Judy on October 12, 2013 at 6:31 am

clearly you’ve never had a dog. that being said, fuck you. you don’t think the shooting of TWO innocent animals is bad? based on this logic, i guess if you’re caught in the cross-fire of an officer and killed you’d expect the world to keep turning and for it to be brushed off as an accident.. no harm no foul. you’re delusional.

Ben on October 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I accidentally stumbled across this article and was about to reply to this heartless, sad, pathetic idiot, but Ben said it all 🙂

    Well done. I hope she rots in a hell full of screaming toddlers, like I have to listen to in public places to be able to have a nice dinner out, because restaurants won’t implement a “no child” policy.

    I’d rather see pictures of someone’s dog than their snotty-nosed brats any day.

    Leigh on September 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      Leigh, my wonderful two year old son is not a snotty nosed brat. He is the most important thing in the entire world to me. You want to know why dogs are nicer than people? Because they don’t have the IQ of humans! If your dog ( or cat, or bird, or hamster) were smarter and more capable of complex human emotion it would also rebel against you and act like a “brat” at times. It would favor another family member to manipulate, talk back, and otherwise give you trouble. Animals are simply not CAPABLE of figuring out how to do this. They respect and “love” and follow around whoever feeds them.
      My son’s love is more legitimate and true than any pets’ devotion would be, because my son is intelligent enough to KNOW I am his mommy, that we have a bond and closeness, and he does not function purely on instinct the way somebody’s dog would.
      And he will be in my life through ups and downs, happiness and sadness, high school graduation, first relationships, jobs, and many other life happenings.
      A pet? Not so much.

      Erin on October 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Best thing I’ve read in a long time. People who think that dogs are “kids” really DO need to get a clue. Some folks are downright ridiculous.

BestThingEver on April 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

You write that ‘already there are issues’ because she never took his surname.

This is a ridiculous judgement call and tells me all I need to know about the author, and thus renders the article not worth reading, as well as the whole site not worth visiting. Shame on you.

dan on November 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm

OK. Calm down people. Even if you love your pets, it is pretty narcissistic and crazy to call them your “kids” in any way other than jokingly. The real problem is that some people would rather relate to their owned animals, mostly because they can completely control them. That in and of itself points to major psychological issues in the owner. That said, some people do this kind of thing with their children too–seeing them as extensions of themselves. That is also sick. Get a grip, get a life, and stop doing this kind of unhealthy crap.

WS on April 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm

“He will live and die for you and will never ask anything in return.”

Food, water, shelter, attention and toys are things an owner provides their dog. Those are basically the only things in the world a dog is capable of caring about or wanting. Giving a dog everything it possibly could want sure sounds like you’re giving it “something” to me. Also, its unlikely dogs understand their own mortality. Police and military dogs are trained to think they’re playing a fun game. Most of those who get hurt have to be retired afterwards, because, hey, guess what, once they realize they can be hurt they don’t want to “work” anymore. Also, a lot of people’s dogs do not defend them. Are these dogs defective or bad dogs?

“To put it in two words–Debby,get a damn dog–you’ll know what I am talking about.I recomend a pitbull.”

Why should someone get a dog who was bred for centuries with the instinct to not let go once it bites, even if its being beaten on? Do you want more people to be killed by pit bulls and more bad press for the breed? These are dogs that should be left to those who need a working dog to hunt boars or whatever, not for people who want to be hip for owning a “misunderstood” pet and don’t want to believe their “furbaby” is capable of killing. Not saying Debby is this type of person, but a lot of people who want to adopt pit bulls seem like those kinds of people.

And it’s not in “how you raise your dog.” Millions of people every year are bit by their family pets they take good care of. Every dog is capable of biting, and a dog’s temperament is largely genetic. Any dog behaviorist will tell you this. Anyone who believes a dog will never bite “if it was raised right” is exactly the type of person who should not own a pit bull, or any other large, potentially fatal breed.

“Leigh, my wonderful two year old son is not a snotty nosed brat. He is the most important thing in the entire world to me. You want to know why dogs are nicer than people? Because they don’t have the IQ of humans! If your dog ( or cat, or bird, or hamster) were smarter and more capable of complex human emotion it would also rebel against you and act like a “brat” at times. It would favor another family member to manipulate, talk back, and otherwise give you trouble. Animals are simply not CAPABLE of figuring out how to do this. They respect and “love” and follow around whoever feeds them.
My son’s love is more legitimate and true than any pets’ devotion would be, because my son is intelligent enough to KNOW I am his mommy, that we have a bond and closeness, and he does not function purely on instinct the way somebody’s dog would.
And he will be in my life through ups and downs, happiness and sadness, high school graduation, first relationships, jobs, and many other life happenings.
A pet? Not so much.”

This x1000. I love animals and have my own little zoo in my house, but they are not humans. This is why even small, relatively harmless primates are incredibly hard to keep as pets,– because they are so intelligent! Not that I think dogs, cats, birds, etc. are just mindless, emotionless automatons, but they don’t have the brain power for advanced thought.

Fishstick on October 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm

It’s sad that most of these people don’t realize that pets as family was a gimmick though up by the pet product advertising agency, as reported in the trade magazine Pet Products International, March-April 2012 issue I think. They realized that IF they could dupe people into feeling ‘parental guilt’ over their pets they’d be able to make a killing by selling ‘pet parents’ more crap-better doggie beds, more expensive dog food, more chew toys, products for whiter teeth and fresher breath-and it worked! Beyond even their wildest dreams.

KaD on October 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm

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