Medieval Monday: Pets

Allison D. Reid

Pets are a common part of the modern lifestyle. We lavish affection on them, share pictures of them with the world, record their antics on our phones, and spend a small fortune on their care, including special food, toys, and treats. I have a house full of animals myself; three cats, two dogs, a lizard, hamster, and sizeable fish tank. Pets amuse us, soothe us, and—usually—keep our blood pressure down. They’re sweet and fun to have around. So I thought for today’s Medieval Monday I would approach the subject of pets from a medieval perspective. In a world where animals were mainly kept for food and labor, did medieval people ever keep what we would consider to be pets?

To answer the question, we must first understand that the concept of a “pet” as we know it did not really exist in the Middle Ages. The idea didn’t become a…

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5 thoughts on “Medieval Monday: Pets

  1. Pets are undoubtedly a luxury, and there was little room for luxury in the lives of ordinary people in those times. It is sad how pets have started to become status symbols though, and the idea of their companionship is losing out to the cost of a breed, or the appearance of a certain animal. And don’t get me started on dressing them up!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Due to allergies to most dogs (and all cats – as bad as yours sound, Kate), my Shih Tzus must come with papers to make SURE there’s nothing in the bloodlines which would shut down my airways. This adorable breed has risen in cost *at least*10-fold as their popularity has increased over the 30+ years I have lived with them, after discovering they didn’t set me off.

      Doesn’t mean I consider them status symbols, however Pete – nor do I show them or care in the slightest about any supposed “faults” in confirmation.

      I look for an excellent, responsible, home breeder because I want a HEALTHY puppy who got a loving start in life. Vet checks, and genetic confirmation, shots, worming, vitamins & healthy food for mamas, papas and their litters is pricey – these breeders aren’t making a killing. Some of them barely cover their costs on some litters, more interested in finding excellent homes for their beloved fur-babies than you would believe. Not all breeders are puppy farmers with corporate capitalist mindsets.

      I’m sure censure was NOT the intent of your comment, Pete, but I have become sensitized to the “adoption is *always* better and purebred owners are snobs” comments I’ve heard over the years. If I could rescue, I most certainly would – but I’m not going to live without my furry companions because I can’t.

      As for dressing them up – Tink has cold weather sweaters and coats for HIS comfort, not for my amusement. In case you missed it last Halloween, Tink guest-blogged a post on my site about “scary things done to dogs” (his tiny tongue firmly in his furry little cheek).
      https://addandsomuchmore.com/2016/10/30/this-will-really-scare-you/
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Censure was not my intention at all, Madelyn. I don’t have a rescue dog, and was not advocating not buying pedigrees. I was only talking about the trend for celebrity ‘handbag’ dogs, with their bejewelled collars, and silly outfits. Also about those that buy breeds with known problems (like Pugs) only to abandon them when they can’t be bothered with the Vet bills or health care.
        Best wishes as always, Pete.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I agree. I can’t imagine “bouncing back” an animal either – which is why I’m careful to make sure I get one to which I KNOW I’m not going to be allergic, and who had a healthy start in life – because I can’t afford the outrageous vet bills that come with some breeds (and poorly bred pups). Standard “healthy dog” vet expenses for are hefty enough, thank you very much – but part of the cost of caring for your pet that must be in the budget.

        Tink may look like a foo-foo pup, but believe me he is ALL dog and rough and rowdy when he chooses (even tho’ he is very well behaved and my baby – lol).

        Thanks for taking the time to respond, btw. I appreciate it.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t have pets as I’m really allergic. My allergies kick off even if I’m standing next to someone who has cuddled their pet that morning. I do see that pets are a comfort and loved as children by people who have them. I don’t understand having them as a status symbol like a posh handbag – very odd!

    Liked by 1 person

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