According to a recent article on website source.com, 55 per cent of dog owners buy holiday presents for their dogs, and 37 per cent buy holiday presents for their cats! The baby boomer generation and younger professionals have put off families much more than generations before. So, their need to have companionship and love is often replaced with their pets.
I noticed this, personally, when my sister, Jill’s dog, Suzie was hurt recently. It was a back leg injury, and Jill took her to a veterinarian where she was told that Suzie would need surgery. There would be a significant charge for the operation and a long recovery period. My sister, gladly, took this on.
The operation took place. Jill arranged everything in her home so that Suzie would be comfortable. She kept her in a cage overnight, which was ordered by the doctor, and was very difficult since Suzie was not used to being confined. Jill also carried her everywhere because Suzie could not walk for a long period of time – she also carried her outside every morning and evening so that she could take of her “business”. This is a love that knows no limits. Just as if Suzie were a child. Many people know this feeling for their animals.
Now, the internet has developed a virtual pet site for people to lavish their love and attention and dollars on!
Do a search on Google with virtual pet and 8,270,000 sites appear. And that is not even taking in all the links that are on those sites.
Neopet.com is actually a virtual pet community where you choose your pet and construct it yourself, by giving it an age, values, and personality traits. Then you go on to play the game. In many ways, these virtual pet arrangements are similar to the Sims game. And although I thought the Sims game was fun – it didn’t really fill the void within.
There is also Virtualdog.com –that one is cute and fun-an adventure game-where you choose your canine companion and develop a long term relationship with Rover or Beethoven. There is also a community involvement here as well.
Let’s take a look though, at another kind of pet, one who can be there for you through thick and thin. Since the baby boomer generation is fast approaching the time where the memory starts to erode for some, Pill Pets has been developed. These are stuffed animals with LCD’s that tell their owners when to take their medicine.
I find it exciting that the human imagination can assemble a massive amount of animal like companions and helpers to keep them company. But, no amount of imagination can take the place of a wet nose burrowing into your ear to wake you up in the morning. Or act as a friend when you are alone and need something warm to hug. All of those blessings come from the real thing. That wet nose in the morning is why people of all ages form such attachments to their furry friends. Nothing virtual can ever replace that.