Owner vs. Guardian

In the past years I have switched from using the term owner to guardian. I have never in all my years of writing been questioned about my terminology use but feel that perhaps an explanation is required. Why do I use the term guardian in lieu of owner? There is no legal reason; there is no deep seeded subliminal message, the reason is simple. First; let's look at the definition of both terms.

Owner: a person who owns; possessor; proprietor.

Guardian: a person who guards, protects, or preserves. A person who is entrusted by law with the care of the person or property, or both, of another, as a minor or someone legally incapable of managing his or her own affairs.

Now that you have read both definitions; which would you fit into? Do you only own your dog? Yes I know you paid for your dog and you pay the bills but is that as far as it goes? If so; I'm sad for you as you are missing out on so much. But if you are like most people who would read a blog about dogs; you love your dog and maybe all dogs. I for one love just about all dogs; size, shape or color makes no difference to me.

And as far as my dogs are concerned I am there guardian. I chose to add them to our family; and it is my chosen duty to care for them. I will do the best I can to ensure their health, safety and happiness. I am far more than an owner in my opinion and frankly; I am very proud to be considered my dogs guardian. I take the role very seriously.

Terminology is a funny thing; I like to use words that are descriptive and usually veer away from generic type terminology. I think as we have evolved into wonderful canine caretakers so should our title. The term Owner is such a simplistic meaning that it essentially negates the true meaning of living with, nurturing and bonding with our dogs. I would use Mom but that has already been taken by my furless children. ;)

But in the end it is a word and that is all it is. Actions speaks volumes more than words.

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