Why People Have Pets

Why People Have Pets

I am a dog mom. To be more specific, a pug mom. I am not one of those crazy people who talk ‘baby talk’ to their pets, but I am one of those crazy people who treat their dog like a human, or any other member of the family.

I am also one of those people who worries about the dogs life in the movies. When the Seal Team dog is out on a mission, my worries are with the dog.

Why Do People Have Pets?

There are many reasons people choose to have pets, but according to Business Insider these are the most common:

  • Companionship
  • Exercise
  • Happiness
  • Laughter
  • Loyalty
  • Socialization
  • Health
  • Confidence

Image created in Canva

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

– Josh Billings

My Beloved Pets:


Frosty was born in my dresser from a cat we were cat sitting when I was eleven. Frosty loved to kill mice and brought them to our doorstep. Once he got lost in the sewer system and made his way to our corner and meowed for a rescue. When my family moved from British Columbia to Quebec, Frosty ran away and stayed in B.C.


Sassy was the first dog my family had when I still lived at home, courtesy of my Aunt Mildred. She was an Alsatian. Smart as a whip. Not the cutest dog, but she had an enormous heart and you couldn’t know her without loving her.


George was a fierce German Shepard. I never felt safer than when he was in the house. A beautiful boy, his protective instincts overruled all the others. With his family, he was as gentle as a kitten. He was part of our family for 14 years.


Max was my daughter’s pug. A lovely soul with a big personality. He always wanted to be the center of attention and usually succeeded. Max didn’t like other dogs, he loved treats. He was funny and smart in ways that you wouldn’t expect.

When he got older, his hips gave him trouble, so we bought him a wheelchair. Max had two operations while we had him. He was twelve years and ten days old when he died.


Chilli was a rescue from PetSmart. Our first girl and cat, also my daughters. She had beautiful green eyes. She had a way of making you do whatever she wanted you to. Not your average cat, she could catch treats like a baseball player. Chilli passed away from kidney failure way before her time.


Marge, whose name is actually Maddox, another pug given to us by a friend of my daughters. How his name switched from Maddox to Marge is a long complicated story, let’s just say I blame my husband.

Marge has been my dog since he moved in. Since I work from home. He is constantly by my side. In bed, in the shower or wherever I am, he is there too.

I love having a dog. Marge helps with my anxiety. He brightens my mood. He is the first thing I look for after being away, and I am always greeted with a smile and a tail wag. 

The Dark Side of Pet Ownership

Since we have known Marge, he has had four operations over five years:

  1. Seven teeth removed along with his manhood
  2. A cyst removed from his left eye
  3. A mast cell tumour (cancerous) removed from his left leg
  4. A spleen removal

I have spent the last few days in worry and fear as Marge has been recovering from a splenectomy. I have cried countless tears, hoping I made the right decision. If he recovers and gets back some quality of life, then it will be worth the pain his surgery has caused him. I hate having to make these choices for him.

Whatever happens, if he lives months or years the pain of losing him will never overshadow the love and happiness knowing him has brought me. I feel the same way about all my pets.

Final Thoughts

Pet ownership is the best until it becomes the worst. Have you loved or lost an animal? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time



All photos copyright Frankie Cameron Writes.

How Many Cousins Do You Have?

How Many Cousins Do You Have?

Recently, during a period of boredom, I Googled “How many cousins does the average person have?” The results surprised me. According to data from cousin statistics, one person has an average of 5 first cousins, 28 second cousins, 175 third cousins, 1,570 fourth cousins, 17,300 fifth cousins and 174,000 sixth cousins.

To me, the number of first cousins seems low. I have an enormous family. My father was one of 13 children while my mother was one of 7. Both of my parents were the second youngest in their families. I have approximately 75 first cousins. When I was little, I thought everyone had a family like mine, when someone would tell me they only had two or three cousins, I couldn’t understand why they had so few cousins.

My Father’s Family

My father’s parents, Stephen and Violet had 13 children, 4 boys and 9 girls. They had 58 grandchildren, 110 great-grandchildren and at last count 114 great-great-grandchildren. That is a grand total of 295 cousins. One of my cousins has a website that he updates whenever a new family member is born.

My Mother’s Family

My mother’s parents, Hugh and Laura-Jane had 7 children, 3 boys and 4 girls. They had 19 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and lots of great-great-grandchildren. Unfortunately there isn’t a website on this side of the family to get all the correct numbers of grandchildren.

Growing Up

They say that your cousins are your first friends. It seemed every weekend I would see cousins. We would spend countless hours on the family farm.  There was always music, food and family.

“A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.”

– Marion C. Garretty

Cousins Explained

There is a lot of confusion about cousins. Specifically, the difference between first and second cousins. And what exactly is a ‘first cousin once removed?’ In the paragraphs below, I have tried to simplify the explanation:

Types of cousins:

First Cousins (2 generations)

Children of your aunt and uncle are your first cousins. You share one set of grandparents with them. First cousins also share 12.5 percent of their DNA with each other.

Second Cousins (3 generations)

Children of your parent’s first cousins are your second cousins. Second cousins have the same great grandparents. Only 3.125 percent of shared DNA exists between second cousins.

Third Cousins (4 generations)

Great-great-grandparents are the ancestor that connects third cousins. Only 0.781 percent of your DNA connects you to each other.

Removed Cousins

Removed Cousins are cousins from two different generations. For example, my daughter is ‘once removed’ from my first cousins.

To explain further, since she is the cousin with the lowest generation number from the common ancestor (my grandparents), you subtract a generation from the higher number to determine the once removed.

Sounds more complicated than it is. The chart below makes it easier to understand.

Double cousins

There is a unique cousin category for the progeny of brother and sister in laws called double cousins. For example, if two sisters marry two brothers, their children share both sets of grandparents. Double cousins share a whooping 25 percent of their DNA.

Kissing cousins

A kissing cousin is a friend or relative you kiss hello at family gatherings. It is also an old Elvis Presley Movie made in 1964.

 “Cousins are different beautiful flowers in the same garden.”

Collateral Degree Calculation

The term for figuring out cousin relationships is Collateral Degree Calculation. Using the chart below is the easiest way to figure out relationships. (Chart recreated from data at family search)

Chart that explains cousin relationships

If this chart still confuses you, don’t worry you are not alone.

Celebrity Cousins

Did you know that Barack Obama and Brad Pitt are ninth cousins?

Here is a list of some other celebrity cousins you may not have been aware of:

  • Tom Cruise and William Mapother (1st cousins)
  • Sofia Coppola and Nicolas Cage (1st cousins)
  • Snoop Dogg and Brandy (1st cousins)
  • Kate Middleton and Dakota and Elle Fanning (21st cousins)
  • Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip (3rd cousins)
  • Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick (1st cousins)
  • Stephen and Robbie Amell (1st cousins)

Final Thoughts

In my opinion,  cousins are cousins, the degree of the relationship doesn’t matter. First, second, third it all the same. The memories you share will always bind you together.

How many cousins do you have? Write me a note in the comments and let me know.

Until next time


Feature Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay.