Jan Glenn’s | Pawsitively Purrfect-
Pets are everywhere in our culture, and it is easy to forget that they are a luxury and come with lots of responsibility. It is important to remember the time and emotional and financial obligations that are associated with pet ownership.
As pets age, the veterinarian bills can sometimes be overwhelming. My 15 year-old best pooch, Bridget Bardot Dog, was very ill at the end of her life, and the final bill was $5,000. I sold my jeep to pay the bill, but I would have sold everything I owned to keep her alive.
According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent just over $60 billion on their pets in 2015. This number likely includes food, training, grooming, toys, veterinary visits and kennel services. However, this number probably doesn’t include replaced shoes, furniture repair, carpet cleaning and pet sitters.
For some people, a pet is a small part of their life, but for the pet, that owner means everything to them. Humans are all they have to protect them and help them stay healthy. That is why there are certain factors that should be considered before choosing a pet. How much time can you spend with Fido? Do you have enough money for veterinary care and supplies? Is there enough space in your home for exercise?
It is good to put some thought into whether or not your life is compatible with a pet’s needs before getting one. If you live in a small apartment, a fish or cat might be more appropriate than a Labrador. The Lab is oh so cute, but the apartment won’t be so cute when you come home to find your four-legged pal has entertained itself by eating your favorite chair pillow and wrestling with your curtains. This breed might be happier in a large yard.
Giving animals as gifts also requires special consideration. When I was a child, I received a dyed pink chick at Easter. I had no idea what to do with it. It wouldn’t fetch or roll over, and it didn’t purr while sitting in my hand. I took it to the barn to be with the rest of the chickens, and I never saw it again. That was terrible. I looked for that little pink chick for weeks. What is the lesson? When thinking of giving a pet as a gift, make sure the recipient is ready to care for the animal.
Owning a pet should be taken seriously. There are some people who don’t care to ever have the responsibility of having a pet. Then there are the rest of us who would love to have lots, and we have never met an animal we haven’t liked. The golf course where I used to play always called me when they found another litter of kittens at the course. If I didn’t go get them, I found them in a box on my doorstep the next day. Luckily, I had many animal loving friends and always found good homes for them. That continued until I realized having all of these kitties with 150 little finches wasn’t a good plan. Cats and birds don’t always go together, especially when the kitties become cats and realize what those little flying objects are. Finally, the finches went to Moody Gardens in Galveston to live, and my husband stopped the Glenn Kitty Adoption Shelter.
My pets have included Stinky the de-skunked Skunk, Elvis and Priscilla the “Pair-akeets,” Dusty the horse, Prissy the possum, Peter Rabbit, turtles, horned toads, tadpoles, dogs and cats galore. I have loved them all!