Question of the Week: Do you record pets in the family history?

+4 votes

Do you record pets in the family history?

Have you ever created a free-space profile for a pet?

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
reshown by Eowyn Walker
Animals cannot be part of a family tree, but there is no reason you cannot mention them in the profile and include pictures.

Eckhart Tolle-223

calls animals “guardians of Being,” especially animals that live with humans. Because, for many humans, it’s through their contact with animals they get in touch with that level of being. We are destined to return to being by going beyond thinking. The animals are at a level prior to thinking. We rise above thinking and then we meet them again, where we’re both in no-thought. There’s a deep connection. Animals certainly like to be close to humans, especially as humans go through the shift in consciousness.

I have not done that yet but I love the idea.  I have many photos of our family pets going back a few generations.  I like the idea of a freespace profile to link them to the person profile.  I might add a section for them under the children (lol).   Pets are such an important part of my family life and always have been.  I believe that they are also a great addition to an ancestor's bio. Great question Eowyn!

8 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer
I haven't thought of it to this point, but as our cat, Sami Jo is laying in an animal hospital today with an IV and under sedation after three hours of preparation and over two hours of surgery yesterday, I may consider it.

There are several couples that do not have children, and their pets fill that void.

Our son died four years ago, and though an animal can never replace a child, she does make our home feel less empty.
by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
selected by Olin Coles
So sorry for the loss of your child. Nobody can know what that feels like unless they have gone through it.  However, I agree with you about pets. There are so many who desperately need good homes.  Thank you for sharing your love.  I hope Sami Jo does well and would love to see her picture.

Thank you Nancy, very much. You are right. We miss Michael every single day.

500px-SMITH_HESS_FAMILY-11.jpgThis is our Sami Jo, and we can't wait to get her home. Thank you for being so kind, Nancy.

Cheryl, I have always had a cat in my life, two were Siamese. My daughter had a blue point for 22 years.  I have three cats now. One is a mess, but we love her. I am so glad Sami Jo will be coming home soon.
Thank you Alexis. We were just updated an hour ago. She was taken off of her IV. Still on pain meds. Some people probably think we are crazy for doing this, but she is only 5 and our baby.
Sami Jo is beautiful. I'm glad to hear she's off IVs. She'll be glad to get home with her family.  Before I lost my husband to leukemia 3 1/2 years ago he and I rescued anything that came to our door, usually cats and dogs but once I learned how people buy ferrets because they're "cute", get them home and leave them locked up in cages, feeding them anything but a diet primarily of meat, which they require, (they are obligate carnivores) we began adopting them also.  I've had as many as 25 at the time, living in our greenhouse which had a fenced yard so they could go outside during the day.  Currently I have four cats, all rescued from horrible situations.  I can't imagine not having animals in my life.

Thank you Nancy. You sound like a very kind person. We just don't have the heart to hurt anything. This summer our yard was over-run with squirrels. My husband would trap them and take them out to his g-grandfather's cemetery where there are several very old trees. If we were going to be away from home for more than an hour, he wouldn't set the trap, because he didn't want them to hurt themselves. Thank you for caring. I appreciate your comments very much. heart

I have my mad moments,blush but I believe we all are responsible for taking care of this world and all living things. I appreciate you. Have a beautiful day.

Best wishes for a quick recovery for Sami Jo.  I've been in that situation with my cats, and it feels awful.
Thank you Nancy and Karen, both. You are very kind.
Anonymous, thank you very much for selecting my answer!
Olin, thank you so much for selecting my answer.

I've been married over 40 years without having human children.   We've always had dogs  (and one cat that lived 20 years.... but we found out my husband was allergic so she has been our only cat  Surprisingly, the cat and my husband had an incredible bond that excluded me. )......   It's amazing how much depth a pet can add to your life.     Each loss is a misery.        Wishing for Sami Jo's speedy recovery.
Thank you very much Peggy. My husband has always wanted a dog, but I am allergic to them. Sami has been sleeping in my lap most of the day. You are so very kind to even say anything about Sami Jo. You don't know how much I appreciate it.
+4 votes
I do not include pets on WikiTree biographies and had not thought of doing a Free Space Page until I saw some comments to this question on FB. I do have photos of all our pets through our 50+ years of marriage and they are displayed in some of our photo albums with the three children. Will have to think about this for the future and how to appropriately do it.
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (719k points)

I've not included pets in biographies either...... despite only having dogs and a cat as my  "children".   I've always downplayed the importance of our dogs and cat in our lives, especially  with people who have human children. However, recently my cousin's dog died.  (She has two adult children and 5 grandchildren.)   She sought me out for comfort..,,, Even people with human children feel a terrible loss when their pets are gone.

WikiTree is for humans,  but out pets add to our humanity.
@Peggy .. you should never "downplay the importance" of your fur babies.  It is becoming more and more recognised how important a role they play in our lives .. just look at the number of health facilities that now have animals come and visit the patients.

Think of the PTSD folk who have regained much of their lives due to service or comfort animals.  Take a look at folk with epilepsy or diabetes or other medical conditions who also rely on their alert, service or support, animals.

Your fur babies ARE your family.  Don't ever let anyone tell you differently .. and don't deny them their place in your life when with people who only have human children.  (Blessed are they who have both human and fur babies!)
Melanie, thanks for realizing the importance of pets.    I appreciate your comments.
+3 votes
I have photos of most of the pets our family has "owned" over the past 60+ years, and some are in family history albums with their names, for future genealogists who may be interested.
+2 votes
I have put some photos on my family tree of pets with my family members. Some of my family have had very close associations with their dogs. My grandparents collie, Rome, born around 1912, was a surrogate babysitter for my aunt, born in 1916. Rome would watch her, and make sure she was safe.
by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 6 (65.7k points)
+2 votes

I did that just today. I should start doing it more.

My maternal Grandmothers cat,

by Adrien Hart G2G6 (6.8k points)
That is amazing that Skippy the Cat ate only Nacho Doritos for the last few years of his life. I guess when a cat is that old, whatever works works!

My mother-in-law's cat always tried to steal my Nacho Doritos too.
I wish you had a picture up of Skippy. My family has only had tuxedo kitties until last year when we rescued a tortoiseshell kitty.  The personality differences are vast and amusing lol Rest in peace Skippy
+2 votes
I haven't but it's a nice idea for especially for those really close to their pets if you know about them.
by Sarah Jenkins G2G6 Mach 1 (15.5k points)
+2 votes
I'm new and don't know what a free space profile is...I need to look it up.

However, I've never included pets in my family tree, although they have definitely been a large part of my family's history.
by Beverly Patrick G2G Crew (510 points)
+3 votes
Yes, but only in my own personal family tree software. Since my wife and I were not able to have children, dogs have been our fur babies. It helps keep them at the forefront of my memory whenever I do genealogy work.
by Olin Coles G2G6 Mach 1 (18.7k points)

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