My husband I decided 26 years ago (that’s how long we’ve been together)  to choose not to have children…at least  not the two legged kind.  Ever since we’ve been together we have had a minimum of two dogs and now we have three Golden Retrievers.  Every dog we have or had has been a rescue.  So that’s good, isn’t it?  According to the Humane Society, billions of animals are abused every year, about the same die from abuse.  Most aren’t reported, so there isn’t an exact number, just billons.  The sad truth is, over 65 billion animals are used, abused, and killed for food, scientific/medical testing, military experimentation, entertainment, clothing, and breeding – as in puppy mills.

Now I know what you’re thinking!  Billions of children are also abused.  That’s why there’s the choice of adoption!  We all know people out there where the word “parent” should not define them.

We got a lot of grief from our families and some people thought we were being down right selfish for not procreating.  “Everybody’s got a piece of right”, a dear friend of mine always quotes.  At first it really bothered us.  This is America.  We have freedom of choice. Whose business of theirs was it, anyway?  “You’re missing out on so much.”  “You’ll be sorry later in life.”  Well, it’s later in my life and I feel fine about it.  So does my husband and our 3 furry friends, Blaze, Ellie and Savannah.  They are happy as can be.

I know there are a lot of us out there.  I know  some peoples’ “kids” can be cats and birds, and hamsters and even a ferret or two.  At parties some people think we sound silly when we talk about our “kids”!  But they are our kids.  We love them as much as regular families love their children.

In fact, we love children…our nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and friends’ children.  We babysit.  We celebrate birthdays!  We’re the cool Aunt and Uncle!  We like that.  The best part is when the children are NOT on their best behavior, we can give them back!

So here’s to all families, no matter how you define them. When all is said and done, isn’t really  just about love?