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By Karla Pomeroy

Karla's Kolumn: Adopting Roscoe was not selfish Pope Francis


January 13, 2022

Our family at the Pomeroy household grew by one more on Dec. 23, 2021, as we adopted a 6-month Australian shepherd mix male puppy from New Hope Humane Society.

This brings our total fur children at our home to six – three cats and three dogs.

Adopting Roscoe did not come easily but it was, as some would say and what I believe to be, a “Godwink” moment. Roscoe was pet of the week on Dec. 16. I figured he would be adopted right away. It was Christmas time, he was totally adorable.

Now I see the pets of the week every week and joke about adopting every dog but there was something about Roscoe that I even sent a photo to my husband. I received no reply – not even a laughing emoji.

A week later when the photos for the pets of the week were emailed in, I emailed back and inquired about Roscoe. I do not inquire about past pets of the week but I had to know he found a home at Christmas.

No, was the reply I got back. He had not been adopted and was not given much of a look by people stopping by. Adopters were wanting younger or older.

I tried again, sending Roscoe’s picture to my husband. Again no reply. That night on our way into town I mention to our other dogs that yes, having three dogs would be a lot of work, so they likely would not be getting a brother for Christmas. But, I noted out loud for my husband to hear “I just know we could give him a good home.”

On Thursday, Dec. 23 I get a text from my husband, “Help.” Help with what, I inquired. He sends a picture of Roscoe in front of our Christmas tree. Needless to say I took the rest of the day off and went to spend it with my new “fur son” Roscoe. (More on Roscoe in another column.)

There is so much joy filling our house the past few weeks and I look at our family and the home we have provided for animals needing a loving home and I feel truly blessed.

So, imagine my surprise when the week after Betty White is praised for her love of animals, Pope Francis called me and all other furparents selfish.

In discussing parenthood, Pope Francis said, “And today, with orphanhood, there is a certain selfishness. The other day, I spoke about the demographic winter there is nowadays, in which we see that people do not want to have children, or just one and no more. And many, many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one – but they have two dogs, two cats… Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children. Yes, it’s funny, I understand, but it is the reality. And this denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity.”

In an opinion piece in Cosmopolitan by Melanie Hamlett, she wrote, “This isn’t the first time the Pope’s said nonsense like this. In 2014, he claimed that couples who get pets, travel the world, and remain childless by choice end up alone, ‘with the bitterness of loneliness.’”

Let me set the record straight for Pope Francis. My husband and I are not selfish, we are not lonely, we are blessed. If we were selfish we would not have six pets. Yes, we consider them our children.

While I have written in this space a time or two about similarities to pets and children, I do know the difference. In the past two weeks I have followed the search for my cousin’s grandson, Hunter Lewis, who was lost canoeing before the new year. I have read the heartache in each post of Hunter’s father, Corey, and as a parent of a furchild I cannot even imagine what that family is going through each and every day as the search continues. For something like that there is no comparison.

Pope Francis is correct in that essentially we made a choice to be fur parents only. God chose not to bless us with children of our own, but He also did not instill in me or my husband a hunger or desire to be a parent or a desire to adopt. I know many others, especially in the X generation of which this is true.

Pope Francis needs to understand that some people are not suited to be parents. It does not make them bad people, or selfish people, or lonely people. It makes us human and sometimes it makes us smart enough to know our limitations.

Search the internet for “children killed by parents” and you will be horrified by these “selfless” parents who killed their children.

There are nearly 8 billion people in the world today. The world will be just fine, humanity will be just fine, if my husband and I are parents of just our furchildren and not human children.

Yes, I know there are many children out there waiting to be adopted; but just as I knew I could give Roscoe a good home, I know in my heart that I am not the right person to parent a human child. Again, Pope Francis, I tell you that it does not make me a bad person or a selfish person or a lonely person.

God gave me a heart for animals, who am I to question His work. I also know in my heart that I am/was the right person to give Roscoe, Shadow, Ivy, Chuck, Fluffy and Tigger, and in the past Buddy, Sarah, Luke and Jake, a home.


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