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Dogs: “Children of the New Millennium”

Albert Mohler has written about an equal parts amusing and sad trend that seems to be rising. Dogs are the “children” of the “next generation.” See the full post here. Some highlights:

Orlando, along with Miami, St. Petersburg and Tampa, is taking advantage of a change in state law and allowing dogs at restaurants’ outdoor dining areas. Business is going to the dogs — in a good way. Sam Snead’s sales are up 5 percent since its patio was opened to dogs, said owner Candie Ryser, who helped push for the new law. Customers eat and drink more if they don’t have to rush home to their pets, she said. Additional revenue comes from the canine menu, including $9.25 tenderloin tips and a $4.25 “bow-wow pizza.””Sasha really enjoyed the experience,” said Jason Callison, 34, a software development manager who dined at Sam Snead’s with Sasha, his cocker spaniel. “The waitress brought a bowl of water with our drink orders. Sasha is a member of the family. She certainly likes to be around people and other dogs.”

And furthermore:

Dogs are the children of the new millennium,” said Tina Valant-Siebelts, a Boca Raton photographer who sometimes dines with Mack, her Australian shepherd. “The greatest benefit is you’ll never have to dine alone.”Jason Johnson, an Orlando lawyer, agrees.”My dog is like my kid,” said Johnson, who eats with his golden retriever, Atticus, at Sam Snead’s. “People come up and pet him constantly. You feel guilty leaving him at home.”

Now, I love dogs. In fact, I am a firm believer that dogs rule. And I will freely admit Tricia and I have begun to slightly spoil our Chihuahua, Reese’s Cup. But the above is just…pathetic.

It used to be feeding the dog at the table was considered spoiling it. The things I highlighted above used to be unthinkable. And while we certainly consider Reese to be “our baby,” she is a far, far cry from an actual child. Give us a choice between her and a child, Tricia and I would most certainly choose the child. Thankfully, I have made it clear I want our kids raised around dogs (with which Tricia agrees), so such a choice won’t be necessary.

A dog may love you unconditionally, but you can’t teach a dog to play sports, raise a dog to do the right thing, bring up a dog in the way of Christ, or all the other things you can do with an actual child. Oh, how we wait with longing for the day God has determined in which to give us children!

Categories: Commentary
  1. March 13, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Dear Mr Mohler,
    You say “you can’t teach a dog sports”? …. Then explain agility, flyball, frisbee, musical freestyle, dock jumping, Earth dog, et al.

    …”do the right thing”?…Consider AKC’s Canine Good Citizen certification, police and military canines, search and rescue, Canine Companions for Independence, obedience trials, tracking, rally, and confirmation trials.

    …”we wait with longing for the day”….Not everyone chooses or is able to bear children. The unconditional love and devotion from our pets (especially dogs) is indeed, a gift from God.

    Respectfully Yours

  2. March 13, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Sorry, those aren’t sports. Nor are the other things you mentioned “doing the right thing.” You cannot teach these things to a dog in the same manner that you can teach them to a child. You could never be proud of a dog for hitting a home run (if it ever could) as you would be if your 5 year old son did. At best you’d be entertained and amused.

    You are correct in that pets are a gift from God; but in no way, shape, or form is a pet equivalent to a child. Nor will a pet ever be a satisfactory substitute to a child.

  3. March 14, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    I believe indeed a child is a gift from God. A child is someone created in God’s own image. Unfortunately some couples are unable to experience the joy of parenthood.

    For these couples, God helped to fill the huge void with yet another special gift – a loving pet.

    My dog is a constant reminder of the unconditional love God has for me. Forever by my side, my dog is my companion and my friend. Her heart is filled with never-ending forgiveness. She has been my strength in times of fear and my comforter in times of great sorrow. Like Jesus Christ, my dog will lay down her life for me.

    Am I proud of her, yes I am . Especially when she brings a smile to a small child’s face or when she gently lowers her head so that an elderly person sitting in a wheelchair may pet her.

    May God bless all the parents of children. I am happy that you have chosen to share with us the joy that your children bring to you. Also be happy for me and the joy I find in the gift that God has chosen to give to me – my dog.

    Afterall, we both have something in common – we have chosen to share love rather than hate.

  4. April Bender
    March 24, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    I’m not even sure where to begin in responding, but I will start by agreeing with you — you are entirely correct when you say that dogs are a “far cry from an actual child”. THEY ARE BETTER! They do not HAVE to be trained to do the right thing or brought up in the way of Christ — they are already THERE!! They don’t call other dogs “stupid” or “fat”, they don’t lie or deceive, and they never tell their parents they hate them! They are not full of themselves, nor do they require ANY material possessions.
    The “sad trend that seems to be rising” is the way parents are raising (=spoiling) their children these days. Discipline & manners are out the window, just to be replaced by demands and an attitude of entitlement.
    So you just keep dreaming about your children, and I’ll keep enjoying my dogs. And whenever you want, we can see who is truly “blessed”.

  5. March 25, 2007 at 5:52 am

    April, I’m sorry, but you are flatly wrong. In no way, shape, or form could a dog ever surpass a child. Dogs are amoral creatures. They do not know right from wrong, nor do they need to. They do not need to be brought up to Christ. They do not need God in the same sense you and I do. They cannot praise God nor could they ever choose Him in obedience to His commands as you and I can.

    You and I are in complete agreement that the failure of parenting is a sad trend. It is an even sadder trend than the one I have addressed here. And whose fault is that? The blame lies squarely with the parents. Incidentally and not a little ironically, many people are raising their kids in the exact same way people are raising their pets nowadays.

    But quite frankly, if you honestly think dogs are better than children, I might want to question your attitide here regarding children. Such an attitude is condemned in Scripture.

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