by Tammy Taylor~
When the kids were little we brought home a little black mini-toy poodle – our youngest named him ‘Toto. Yep, you can just guess which of her favorite movies our daughter had just watched! Toto was her constant companion from the time she was 4 years old until she was grown. When she moved out after she graduated high school she even took him with her. He lived a long time & died at a ripe old age of 14 years, well loved all the way through.
RancherMan & I decided didn’t want the responsibility of a dog after the kids left home so we went without a pet in our home for years. Then a few years ago we began to wonder if a dog would once again be a good fit for our home. So we watched for pets available from a local no-kill shelter that would be a good fit. (I wrote about that here)
Soon I fell in love with the idea of having a dog in the family again. Oh how easy it is to be swept up with all the cute puppy eyes looking at you as you walked by their enclosures! But after looking at all that furry cuteness and being tempted mightily, we left the shelter empty handed. Several times.
It’s not that we didn’t want to bring one home right then, right there. We did! But we really needed to review our lifestyle now. We’d been empty nesters for a few years – thoroughly enjoying all the freedom that entails. Would be be able to fully commit to being responsible for this dog if we brought it home? All its life?
In the end RancherMan & I decided we were ready to accept the responsibility of adding a pet to our family. And make no mistake, it’s been a lifestyle shift for us after becoming accustomed to being empty nesters! But bringing Bailey home was fully thought out beforehand. We realized exactly what we were committing to and she absolutely loves it here!
But remember, if you’re thinking of surprising the kids this Christmas with a new furry friend, considerations must be fully thought out before bringing that sweet pup home. Are you ready for this sacrifice? For the long haul?
And the expense? Not just dog food (LOTS of it for larger dogs, specialty foods sometimes like our Bailey needs) but the vet bills, immunizations, flea meds and more. And grooming & training too. Oh, and boarding when you’re traveling and responsibility to not stay out too late when you’re away from home. That pup is relying on you!
All of these things need to be considered before you take the plunge. Oh sure, that cute pup would elate the kids on Christmas morning. And yes, they promise to feed, water and bathe him. But how many times has a cute puppy been brought home as a fantastic surprise only to have the ‘new’ wear off quickly? That cute pup then becomes a burden and frustration sets in. And sadly when a pet is a burden, sometimes it leads to abuse or even abandonment. It breaks my heart!
Pets Require Commitment
Adding a pet to your home requires a real and long-term commitment from you. If you just don’t know for sure if your family is ready for such a commitment, perhaps you can puppy-sit for a friend who’s traveling for a few days. Then you can get a feel for your family’s tolerance level and care needed before taking the plunge to bringing your own pet into your home.
The point of this post isn’t to be preachy, just meant to provide food for thought.
Please, please, PLEASE think about long-term commitments before adding a pet to your family!
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea. There are lots of good folks sharing!
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