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To Get a Pet or Not to get a Pet

Updated on October 15, 2009

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courtesy flickr-pedrosimoes7
courtesy flickr-pedrosimoes7

Pets

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As a child and on into my teens years I was surrounded by pets, for the most part, they were one dog and two or more cats; however, birds and hamsters did appear now and then.

The last pet I looked after was a dog that I had to give up when we moved to a house where the owner did not allow pets. Fortunately, we found Cleo a good home but I can still see her trying to follow me as I walked away.

Over the years I had reports on her progress and she seems to have had a good life. That was almost 30 years ago and I have not owned a pet since then.

Two recent events have brought the issue of pet ownership into focus, at least for me. One took palce on a macro scale, in the world of celebrity. Paris Hilton, well-known socialite has plans to buy a pot-bellied pig.

The organization People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) objected and was angered that Hilton was planning to buy a pig.

The second took place on a micro scale. An acquaintance has recently purchased a dog, one of those small one that, at least around here, seem to be everywhere. The other night the friend was talking about how she was training and disciplining her dog; soemthign diapers being left around the house while she was at work. I was paying close attention but gather it had to do with dog toilet training.

Now, pondering both these pet tales, has lead me to ask, do people know what they are getting into when obtaining a pet? In both these cases, I think the answer can be yes, but I really do not know.  There is little special training required to purchase or otherwise get a dog or cat. So people may have great intentions but lack the knowledge to take the responsibility pets demand.

Are prospective pet owners ready for the extra time, effort and expense that are required? At the very least anyone who is thinking about getting a pet needs to evaluate their situation before they bring one home. Pets have needs and brining one into your home means you are the one who must help them meet those needs. Pets need exercise food and water for example.

They, at least dogs and cats when they mood moves them, need or want affection and kind words. If you can’t spend time being kind to your pet, what is the point, and if you regret having to walk them or get up and let them in and out, then why are you getting one?

Pets are not a toy, and children do not automatically need one, nor does their desire to own one, mean they or you know how to properly care for that pet.

Before you add a pet too yoru home, know yourself, and be honest, can you really given your current lifestyle adequately look after the pet?

If the answer is yes, learn as much as you can about the animal or being you are about to include in yoru hoem. A trip to the local library or a pet shop can help. Find out first and avoid regret and possibly drastic reactions.

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  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks ZB, life is good, and thanks for dropping by.

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    I grew up as a city kid and my Dad did not believe in animals inside so since I've been an adult I've had pets of every sort and size. I went as far as buying a farm so I could have one of each...then for job reasons I had to sell the farm and all the animals (except for the dogs). I tried living in the city again I only lasted less then three years before I bought a small farm again. I probably will never have a milk cow as a pet again (wouldn't know what to do with all the milk) but... I think some people are animal people and others are not. Having a pet or many is a major responsibility and a commitment that has to be taken very seriously.

    great hub as always Bob.

    hope your well

    regards Zsuzsy

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • pinkdaisy profile image

    pinkdaisy 8 years ago from Canada

    I want a dog really badly however, I live in an apartment - so I think I will wait until I have a yard.

    Great hub!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    I think the diaper is used like the paper you so well described. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Friendlyword profile image

    Friendlyword 8 years ago from house9466@yahoo.com

    I need alot more detail about the crazy diaper thing. I have a seven week old puppy. You put the puppy in that room. You Line the entire floor with paper. After a few Months you start taking more and more of the paper away until it is a small area of paper left in that room. That's how you paper train a puppy. When you start to walk your puppy is immediately after you feed him. That how you train a dog to go outside. Like you, I had pets all my life. I never heard of anything like a diaper on a dog. How does it benefit the dog in any way? By the way, Pigs can be trained.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Carmen thanks for sharing and thanks for dropping by.

  • Carmen Borthwick profile image

    Carmen Borthwick 8 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

    Another great and wise hub as usual.

    My cat, Xena [18 mo], is like a child to me. I didn't think I would really experience the emotions that I had heard accompany becoming an empty nester. Initially I didn't because my husband had been laid off permanently from his job and after 25 years we still enjoy spending time together.

    That's another story. When he, fortunately, began a new career I was on my own, so to speak. No one to fuss and fret over except my cat. Xena had been, from the day I got her, my baby. It wasn't until this point in time that I realized why she was so special to me. She replaced what I had lost, I wasn't a mom everyday anymore and I truly miss that.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you both for your valuable input and kind words.

  • profile image

    Cate Ferguson 8 years ago

    Another great Hub Bob and I agree with you totally about people needing to really consider the whole pet package before jumping in.

    I was really surprised when we got our chickens as what good pets they make. They are very interactive, fun to watch and you get all the great benefits of fresh eggs, garden manure and pest control as a bonus.

    Keeping pets is good for people and for the animals too in most instances and in our culture of separation from nature it gives us a little taste of how rich and diverse the world really is.

    I can see keeping a pig would be similarly rewarding... unless I were Paris Hilton of course!

    Keep up the great work.

  • Katherine Baldwin profile image

    Katherine Baldwin 8 years ago from South Carolina

    Great hub, Bob. We are the staff of no less than four cats. None of them were planned, all were strays that we took in. The point you make about the responsibilities associated with pets is extremely valid. Cats are fairly self sufficient as a whole, but we seem to have wound up with neediest cats on the planet. Two of them want to be held all the time, one will only drink water from a running faucet and our little girl follows my every footstep, helping with the laundry, bed making, dusting..... You get the picture. She has learned to turn on my Roomba vacuum cleaner. That's OK unless it's in the middle of the night, which it sometimes is. Thank goodness it docks itself, lol.

    For all of the joy they bring, they indeed are a responsibility and anyone not willing to care for their pets should find someone that is. You have to consider food, shelter, and vets on the financial end and then the time investment for the attention they need, like walking your dog, scooping litter boxes, turning on water faucets and so on.

    Seriously, if someone is considering a pet, they need to put the same weight on the decision as if they were deciding whether or not to have children. I know that sounds absurd to some people, but the truth is it is pretty much the same thing. The only difference is that your pet probably won't ask to borrow the car when they become teenagers. Just my opinion.

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