Lots of surveys, research, anecdotal evidence and retailers will tell you that these days people spend a lot of money of their pets. People consider pets part of the family. Some people (particularly those who are approaching Old Maid status) even consider their pets to be their children. And this household certainly doesn't provide any evidence against such thinking. On our fridge there is a picture of moi, in one of those cute little magnetic frames (dog themed, of course.) In Boss Lady's wallet there are 2 pictures of moi. In Boss Lady's Mother's wallet there is one picture of moi. Whilst Boss Lady may not spend millions on me every year, I do have my very own savings account, into which she regularly makes deposits, and out of which she rarely makes withdrawals. I'm definitely more than just a dog.
When Boss Lady's Mother is asked about current grandchildren, or the possibility of future grandchildren (both Boss Lady and Aunt A being of such ages that grandchildren would be expected) she replies that yes, she does have a grandchild: he is furry and four legged, and then she pulls out her wallet. Upon further questioning, she'll divulge that quite likely she'll only ever have furry and four legged grandchildren.
When Boss Lady is asked similar questions regarding children and the having of them, she says there will likely never be any children. She prefers dogs and cats, really. At least she can lock them in a cage or the cellar when they're obnoxious, she'll joke. And when she's asked whether or not she considers me her "child," she replies no. I am not a child. I am not the equivalent of a child. I am a dog. It's a whole different category. No other explaining is needed as far as she is concerned.
I'm not so sure her actions today properly reflect her position on children vs dogs, though. Today she drove all the way to Pittsford, without me, mind you, to purchase a new bed for me. It's more than a bed really. Almost a throne. It's certainly quite the set up for a dog. It was, in it's previous life, a child's crib. It was used for a child who is probably now an adult several years older than Boss Lady currently is. It has metal bars, and metal springs, and two sides that slide up and down. Most likely today it would be considered most dangerous and anathema for children, let alone an infant.
The perk of this little piece of furniture is that when one side is down, it creates a wonderful little day bed. Or, for those who see such things, a dog bed. Thus it is that a child's crib becomes a dog bed, further blurring the line between children and dogs. Just to be sure, though, Boss Lady maintains that I am not a child, nor a child replacement. It's just that this piece of furniture was perfect, and can't adequately be described as a mere dog bed. I am the proud new owner of a dog crib. And if she ever manages to make space in her room, put the thing back together and make a cushion, I'll encourage the taking of pictures.