Mom says she loves her dog more than her own son!
Kelly Rose Bradford insists that she loves her 4-year-old West Highland terrier Matilda more than she does her 11-year-old son William. In fact, she wrote a lengthy and heartfelt editorial--which reads like a love note to her canine companion--for the Daily Mail on the nurturing instincts Matilda inspires in her, how the dog's love is unconditional and her loyalty undying. At first, I questioned whether Bradford's first-person testimonial was strategically designed to create outrage among readers, leading to more online shares of the controversial article, which would, in turn, boost her journalistic profile. So I decided to do some research of my own and, as it turns out, her Twitter feed is brimming with photos of shaggy-haired Matilda while images of William are a rare find. My conclusion: this lady is nuttier than a Payday bar.
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In her inane piece, Bradford argues that Matilda is way more low-maintenance than her son, that the dog is obedient whereas her son can sometimes talk back, make a mess all over the house, and procrastinate about doing homework. By this logic, she'd also like a pet rock more than her own offspring.
But let's continue to explore this deranged creature's twisted logic. Bradford's next reason for loving her dog more than her son? Well, Matilda wags her tail happily whenever she's fed or taken out for a walk, whereas William barely acknowledges all of her hard work doing laundry, cooking up meals, and shuffling him to after-school activities. First, let me just point out that dogs wag their tail to communicate a range of emotions--including anger and annoyance, along with happiness. So when Matilda wags her tail some days, she might just be thinking, You're only now walking me, you heifer? Second, if William is an ungrateful and spoiled brat, it's her own doing! If she hasn't taught him manners or reminded him of how fortunate he is for having a caring parent, then what does she expect? Apparently, she was too busy training Matilda to school her own son on basic principles such as gratitude.
Next, she talks about how Matilda needs her whereas William is becoming more independent and self-sufficient. Okay, yes, it's nice to feel needed. But was that Bradford's sole reason for having a child? Part of the wonder of parenthood is watching your child grow up into his own person. It's the reason why we beam with joy when our kids graduate from high school or college, when they eventually get married and have children. Besides, a child always needs his mother--albeit in a different manner. When they're infants, they rely on us for feedings and diaper changes, whereas when they're adults, they look to us for advice and even friendship. Also, lest we forget, William is 11, so he's hardly at the stage in his life where he can whip up his own meals, drive to and from any destination, and make responsible and educated decisions. He does, in fact, still need his mom.
Bradford then goes on to write that whereas William is starting to pull away from her, refusing to hold her hand in public or kiss her on the cheek, Matilda's shows of affection have never subsided. Well, of course not! She's a dog! And she's cooped up in a house all day without interacting with other dogs. Matilda is probably lonely as all hell and, in that regard, she's got something in common with her pitiful owner who sounds like she needs a date badly.
To justify her stance, Bradford mentions that a recent study revealed that dogs trigger the same parental instincts in adults that their own children do. Maybe so, but usually, that occurs when parents are experiencing empty nest syndrome, when their children are out of the house and they feel lonely and need some companionship. During that time, yes, it's likely that a pet will help to fill a certain void. But the study never suggested that these pet-owning parents favored their pets over their children!
Bottom line: nothing and no one comes before my child--certainly not a yelping fleabag, however cute and perky he might be.
Image via Corbis