It is no surprise that most pet owners say they love their pets. Yet one third now say if they had to make a choice, they would pick their pet over their partner. The surprising statistic comes at a time when fewer and fewer people are getting married and more and more people are getting pets. To get to the bottom of this we interviewed two of our pet-loving readers, Zoe and Kim.
How long have you had your pet?
Zoe: Bella and I have been together for six years. Bella is a chihuahua-pomeranian and has been with me since she was a puppy.
Kim: I have five dogs! When I was at university I rescued a puppy named Riley. He was my closest companion for a long time but passed away a few years ago. Since then I adopted the five dogs I have now. Four poms and one Saluki named Chaplin.
Are you dating anyone right now?
Zoe: I’m currently single but I’ve met two incredible men over the last six years, however, both came between me and Bella. If that ever happens there can only be one outcome. I know there is someone out there who can love both me and Bella and that Bella will love them too.
Kim: I am in a relationship and have been for over a year now but Tim knows exactly where he falls in the pecking order. With five dogs, he has to be happy with sixth place.
Zoe, would you mind telling us what happened with your exes and why it didn’t work out?
Zoe: The first relationship started out great. He was dreamy and we really clicked. Things were looking like they may go somewhere more serious when the incident happened. He and I were on my bed when Bella jumped up too. He tried to tell her to get away and started to push her, she became frightened and started to bark so he rose his leg as if to kick her! That was enough for me. No one kicks Bella. Luckily Bella managed to avoid his foot but she was terrified. Right then I knew, he had to go.
After that, I knew that whoever I met would have to be an animal lover. When I met a vegan I thought I had made a perfect choice. Show me a vegan who doesn’t love animals! He was an animal lover, that wasn’t an issue, however, he was also allergic to dogs. It was a huge pity, I just wish he had told me sooner, I mean what did he think, that I would fall in love with him and lose Bella? Never.
It sounds like you have been more lucky Kim, how do you balance people and pet love?
Tim and I have a great connection and that is key, but the most important thing is that he knows how important my dogs are to me. Once that is clear we can deal with anything. I love spending time with Tim but I love spending time with my dogs more. For example, when I go on holiday, I go with my dogs, not Tim.
Hold on, you go on holiday with your dogs, not Tim? How? Why?
Well Tim and I have only been together for one year and I am sure we will go on holiday together but if we do, the dogs will be there too. I love going on holiday with my dogs. Everyone treats me like a local because my dogs are dragging me around and they make me feel so comfortable, no matter where I am.
Thanks to Kim and Zoe for their insight into putting pets over people. It is clear that in a world where judgment is increasingly part and parcel of a relationship, having the unconditional love of a pet can be hard to beat.