So I went to catch The Secret Life of Pets last Friday and I just wanted to pen down a few thoughts that ran through my mind while i was watching the movie. To me, it wasn’t just a mere family-friendly movie but a film that parents can use to educate their kids
A pet is a lifetime commitment.
The film’s antagonist came in the form of a seemingly innocent little bunny, whose cuteness betrayed no hint of that crazed personality under all that white fluff. Along with his three sidekicks (a muzzled bulldog, a tattooed pig and a chameleon/gecko), his aim is to carry out a revolution against the human race together with the followers he has gained, all who were abandoned pets by their previous owners or have experienced some kind of suffering and trauma with humans.
This representation depicted in the film reflects the reality of our society today. Children today often beg for a pet, throwing tantrums in a bid to get their parents to succumb to whatever they want. (I won’t lie, I did that too in order to get a dog.) Parents, in order to make their precious little child happy, often purchase these pets as gifts to their children (Thankfully my parents didn’t give in when i was younger). When these pets grow too big and become too much too handle, families send them to shelters or release them into the wild(often the case with red-eared terrapins/fish), thinking that these animals will eventually find a better home or survive in the wild.
Shelters are exploding with the number of strays and abandoned animals. Terrapins are highly territorial can’t fend for themselves in the wild. So when you make a decision to get a pet, that decision is for life. You don’t abandon your kid just because he destroys your furniture or defecates all over the house, do you? Similar, you don’t give your pet up just because you cannot afford to care for it. If you made the choice to bring it home, you must ensure that you have thought through your decision and be able to care for it till its very last breath. Children lack the maturity to consider such issues, and parents most definitely should not join their children’s immaturity in making a rash decision such as owning a pet.
You are your pet’s whole world, even though they are only a part of yours.
The introduction of the film focused very much on what the pets were up to while their owners went out. The protagonist, Max, spent his whole day lying by the door patiently waiting for his owner to come back, proudly proclaiming that he is very busy and has an extremely important task that day – waiting for his owner to return.
This scene perfectly highlights the reality of our pets’ lives. While we have other aspects of our lives to take care of, we are the core of our pets’ world. While we spend time outside chasing after our goals, wanting one thing after another, our pets just want to lay down beside at our feet and spend time with us.
I am lucky to have two devoted dogs that love me and each day, I count my blessings because they teach me so much about tolerance, acceptance and finding happiness in the simple things in life.