So ladies, after years of advocating better maternity leave policies, I am taking up a new cause – pet bereavement policies.
My dog died last Monday and showing up for work all week was so hard. I did it, but there’s a difference between showing and “showing up.”
For many of us, pets are family. They are with us everyday, more than many of the people in our lives. They are loyal and loving and they give us the privilege of caring for them as babies and as old, tired creatures — and every day in between.
But so many humans just don’t understand other humans’ ability to love an animal. To those people I offer up this example. When a human I cared about died and I was grieving, my dog came and sat with me – silent, patient, concerned. She did not say to me, “I”m not much of a human person but I suppose it could be sad.”
And yet when my dog died, several humans told me they weren’t really dog people but…. And then they expected business as usual. Who would you prefer by your side while mourning a loss?
At first, I was mostly joking about pet bereavement policies. But then I started doing some research. And maybe animals are a feminist issue. Researchers have found a link between animal abuse and domestic violence. And, then there are the studies on household chores. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Time Use Survey 2009, on an average day, 85 percent of women and 66.6 percent of men do some sort of household activity. Last time I checked, pets require daily care. So who’s walking Fido?
Ladies what do you think? Should we add our furry friends to the agenda?