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What is a pet? - A thought to ponder

June 14th, 2010, 10:46 AM
I've been thinking about this for a while. What is a pet? I don't feel it is what the dictionary defines pets as being: An animal kept for amusement or companionship. At least not in those simplistic terms.
Does a pet provide amusement? I suppose. When a dog is chasing a stick or a ball and bringing it back proudly held in his mouth an owner could be amused. Or when a cat is playing with a favourite toy mouse, throwing it in the air and generally doing what comes naturally an owner is probably amused. Any of the silly little things pets do are amusing. Simplistic?
Kept for companionship? Most definitely! Who's heart does not melt when they spy a cat curled contentedly in a warm ray of sunshine? Who's mouth does not curve into a smile when they see their dog running to the door to greet them at the end of a long day of work? What dog owner does not enjoy walking in the woods, along the beach, down a quiet street? What cat owner doesn't love to play a rousing game of catch the string or watch their kitty go into la la land when given cat nip? But simplistic?

A pet is a lifetime commitment. How many times have we heard "I can't keep the dog. It growls at my children." "The cat has to go. My boyfriend has allergies." "I need to find a new home for my dog/cat. I don't have time to look after it."
Why do people rush into buying that cat/dog? Why can they not put some thought into beyond the puppy/kitten stage? Why can't they think about the responsibilities of looking after the cat(s), dog(s), bird(s), whatever pet they have chosen? The average life span of a cat is 16 years. A dog is around 10 to 12 years. Why can't people realize that?

I know there are no answers. I am not expecting any. What I am hoping is that eventually people will take the responsible route and do their research before bringing home that cute kitty/puppy. I am hoping they realize they have signed themselves up for the pet's lifetime. Not until they are tired of cleaning up after the pet. Not until those wonderful allergies come into being. I am praying people with allergies go and spend time with kittens/dogs in a shelter environment to see how they react. I am praying those same people spend some time looking after those animals. That way maybe some of them won't be begging people to help them find a new home for their "loved" pets. Maybe the pets won't be returned to the shelter or turned out to fend for itself.

Above all I am hoping pets come to be treated with the respect they deserve.

June 14th, 2010, 10:54 AM
AMEN :cat: :dog: :lovestruck:

June 14th, 2010, 11:01 AM
A pet is a lifetime commitment.

I know you didn't ask for answers but ... that is what a pet is for me , a lifetime commitment , because I choose for them to be here at my house , because they are part of my family , because I love them with all my heart , and they give it back unconditionally , so I owe them that much :)

Why do people rush into buying that cat/dog? Why can they not put some thought into beyond the puppy/kitten stage? Why can't they think about the responsibilities of looking after the cat(s), dog(s), bird(s), whatever pet they have chosen? The average life span of a cat is 16 years. A dog is around 10 to 12 years. Why can't people realize that?

I know :( most people now (most) need to have everything their way , very selfish , it's always me me me , they want everything to come back to them , they want everything to be easy. So if they can get red of "a problem" instead of dealing with it , they will. The word "responsability" has lost it's meaning for many people .....

June 14th, 2010, 11:21 AM
I think our society has made it too easy for some to find any excuse to get rid of a pet. They are downplayed as just animals. I have seen in the past couple of years that more people are considering their pets as part of their family.

I see my cats as my kids (my friends and family don't even ask me how the cats are anymore, they ask how are the kids). I can't imagine not having them in my life. If it were possible, I'd take them everywhere with me. Do they amuse me? Yes, sometimes they do. Do they give me companionship? Totally. But they give me so much more. They are the keepers of my secrets. They know my disappointments and my fears. They are there to cheer me up when I feel sad and they don't care if I'm 5 pounds overweight or 50.

They are my little gang.

June 14th, 2010, 12:39 PM
What a wonderful post. I agree that pets are all of the things you listed: there for amusement, companionship, for life, plus the joy of having Izzy waiting for me at the back door when my car pulls up and she immediately rolls over for a belly rub. Nothing better than a long day at work with crabby adults!

I love how we "talk" to each other, I love how sometimes I panic when I can't find her only to discover she has found a new comfy spot to lie in every few weeks, I love how she sits w/me on the bathroom counter in the mornings when I get ready for work, then I let her know I'm turning the hair dryer on and then she leaves, I love how she will sit for her evening meal before I give it to her, I love that she goes crazy when she smells watermelon even tho she's never had it, I love how sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night only to discover that as I'm lying on my stomach she is lying on my back. And so many more things.

June 14th, 2010, 01:42 PM
14+K - this could not have come at a better time. Thank you for such a great thread.:thumbs up:grouphug:

Dog Dancer
June 14th, 2010, 03:24 PM
Yup Yup Yup to all of the above. :thumbs up Being a lifetime commitment made me remember when my son was young he was diagnosed as having allergies to the cats and dog. My mother asked me if I was planning to rehome my son! :laughing:

There is very little else that gives me the same satisfaction as the unconditional love I get from my grrrrls.

June 14th, 2010, 04:43 PM
Thank you for such a great thread 14+! :grouphug:

I have not been on pets often lately (at least not for more than a brief few minutes), as we have been busy preparing and bringing home our new dog, an adult male boxer that arrived at the humane society here a few weeks ago :lovestruck:

I was shocked when I came on this afternoon to read some of the current posts. One in particular, almost left me in tears, as I fear the lives of two innocent animals may be in jeopardy simply because they are an "inconveinance" to the owner. I pray for these pets that they will end up with someone who will give them the love, respect, and care they deserve. :fingerscr

Too many people have the attitude that pets are disposable, and do not see an adult cat/dog in the pet shop window that will live for many, many years and will require not only emotional and physical stimulation, but the funds to provide it with proper vet care, food, etc. etc.

I think this attitude largely stems from the BYB's and pet stores that sell puppies/kittens in the world. As long as someone can slap down the cash, they are given a pet. There is no concern if this pet is an appropriate, suitable match for the owner/home. I get so frusrated when people get angry over the thorough adoption process at the humane society here. It's in place to ensure that animals go to their forever homes.

To me my pets are my life. They are the source of my joy, my happiness, my smiles. They are with me in my darkest and saddest moments, and are the sole reason I get of bed somedays. Yes they anger, frustrate, and exhaust me, but one sloppy kiss makes it all worth it. I chose them - they did not choose me, therefore it is my responsibility to provide for them for life. They are NOT disposable.

June 14th, 2010, 05:20 PM
My sentiments exactly, 14+. It is all about taking responsibilities for the choices that you make in life.

June 14th, 2010, 05:34 PM
I agree 100% 14+ well said

June 14th, 2010, 06:31 PM
I couldn't agree more! We have a very good example, our newest baby. A now 14 week old Giant Mal puppy. We got him from a couple who didn't want him because he had "blue" eyes. I find it a little hard to believe that was the reason as they have a team of sled dogs. Anyone who knows dogs also know the eyes will change colors, as his did. They are now a beautiful green (sometimes goldish) color. He was, however, sick. We did not realize it as they told us the diarrhea he had was due to him getting into the adult dogs food the previous night. We believed them. Other than be dirty and desperately needing a bath (which he got as soon as I got him home!), he seemed like a normal, healthy puppy... until 2 weeks ago when he had his first of 2 Grand Mal seizures.

The first vet clinic we went to suggested, after the first seizure and a couple of odd episodes which they believe to have been complex partial seizures, that we consider putting him down. The only test they had done was a CBC. NO recommendation for additional testing, nothing but toss him in the garbage. We were devastated at the thought of losing him already. He spent a night in the hospital after his second Grand Mal and the vet there told us the same, that pups that age don't get epilepsy, it is most likely congenital and his outlook was not good.

We decided to try another vet. To make an already long story shorter, she recommended several tests to rule things out and was quite surprised when they actually got something back showing possible Neospora, Meningoencephalitis, Round Worms and Giardia. She put him on 2 antibiotocs and a steroid to reduce inflammation in his brain and spinal cord. It has been a week today since his last seizure, and we're hoping that will turn into yrs, time will tell.

It cost us $3000. It's not something we were prepared for by any means, but you do what you have to do. We may still lose him, but at least we know we have done everything that we can. No one gets a new pet expecting to have to put out that kind of money right off the bat, but it happens and people need to be prepared BEFORE they purchase, or receive free, any pet.


June 14th, 2010, 06:58 PM
Thank you everyone for your well thought out answers. I appreciate hearing them. I know there is a growing number of people out there who truly value their pets. The message is getting out there. But there are still so many that want to live in their own little sterile world with nothing to bother with. I get that story many times from customers. They forget they also don't get the love that pets show their people. That is so sad...... There are still so many who adopt a dog or cat and then find out their "allergies" or some other reason are out of control. That's why I say please go and volunteer, spend some time with cats and dogs before bringing them into your life - only to desert them a couple of weeks later. :(
It doesn't matter how hectic my day is with feeding the cats, medicating, cleaning their houses, etc. and spending time with the dogs as well. It's heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to them. But I cannot fathom my life without them.

June 14th, 2010, 07:18 PM
:highfive: on here mf, you're preachin to the choir so to speak! :thumbs up:grouphug:

June 14th, 2010, 08:38 PM
Oh 14+, I just got goosebumps and a big lump in my throat.

"I am hoping they realize they have signed themselves up for the pet's lifetime."

A pet's lifetime can truly pass in a blink of an eye. Cherish the time you have with your beloved friends and welcome them into your home with open arms.

A heart-filling life experience.

:thankyou: 14+ :highfive: