Why Adopting A Pet Can Be A Long Term Committment…
Every year our Little Pawners, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney beg for a pet on their birthday and at Christmas. My twin sister, Cindy Daniel “comes up with all the reasons she refuses to get one” everytime this issue pops up.
Last night Makenna wrote a three page letter to my sister and I detailing why she wanted a dog and also her plan to care for a new pet- I found strong points in the letter that Cindy sent me via text and called her to discuss them.
My sister is not a “pet person” although she has spent 11 years trying to keep the twins happy with a variety of pets over the years.
In fact, my dog Foxy Wortham was originally a pet for the twins but Beagles are active dogs and he managed to “whip through” pillows and shoes at a fairly alarming rate so my sister called me and asked if we would take him in.
At the time my husband and I adopted Foxy from my sister, we were both living in town home apartments and took turns keeping him while my husband finished building our Dream Home that was later sold with my share of the proceeds funding Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures & The Pawning Planners.
Walking Foxy every morning at my apartment was an escapade in futility especially if it was raining! He would stand there and look at me waiting to go back inside and use my carpets for “his business.”
My husband had an easier schedule since he was self employed and spent hours attempting to train Foxy to go outside but, like me, he encountered problems with rain and snow and a hard headed Beagle.
Caring for a dog or cat is an expensive and lengthy endeavor for pet owners. There’s the vet bills, medication, food and toys along with the huge investment of your time bathing your pet, playing with your pet and even training your pet. Many dogs live 10-15 years with some even longer.
Last year, my son moved back home after a house fire. While I “adapted” to my son and his wife living with us for three months, I laid down the law up front regarding their two dogs (which later became three), by telling them their pets were not welcome here. Are you surprised? Don’t be because while living at our previous home, my daughter in law brought her dog over with fleas! As if that were not bad enough on its own, her dog ate Foxy’s food, pooped in my den and humped my dog leaving my husband to furiously shout (which is highly irregular since he’s the quiet one) “you don’t bring a pet with fleas into someone’s home and let your dog rape and pillage the dog who lives here! What the hell is the matter with you-don’t ever bring pets to our home again.” Now you know why the “no pet visit” rule exists here.
Planning to go on a vacation? What about your pet? Sure you can leave them at the vet for a hefty fee and the one time we did, my husband continued to view the video feed of our miserable dog acting depressed at Pet’s West which made our “vacation” miserable! He spent so much time feeling guilty about Foxy being homesick that we couldn’t have any carefree fun while in Florida.
My sister and I have been raising kids as long as we can remember. My son is 25 and lives two blocks from me and her daughter Stephaney and the twins live with her along with her husband.
Up until two months ago, her other daughter Leigh Ann and her new baby Madyson also lived with Cindy which made her home aka The DanielDivaDiggs very tight quarters and was the basis of her blog “Five Females Fighting.”
I suggested my niece, Stephaney Mahaney address the dog “issue.” My reason for this was that Stephaney is the only kid who never asked for a pet while Leigh Ann (who lived at home until she was 31) continued to bring pet after pet into Cindy’s house without bothering to clean up after them.
Foxy is the second dog that I adopted from my sister’s home. The first was a toy terrier named Toto that had numerous ailments including hypoglycemia and vet bills in the thousands. Leigh Ann wanted the dog but after the novelty wore off, brought him to me.
Dogs are like children- you need to be prepared to clean up after them, care for them and spend a large portion of your life committed to their well being. Dogs and even cats are not for busy families on the go.
My sister has had parrots, bunnies, hamsters, cats, dogs, ducks and lizards at the DanielDivaDiggs and while being the only person who cooks, cleans, washes clothes and does everything else to run the household, has a valid point. After all, it won’t be the children taking care of the pet, it will be her.
For over 12 years, Cindy took care of two dogs- Duke and Puppa. Other than her husband being home on leave from Camp Anaconda, it was Cindy and I who took them to the vet and to the groomer. Cindy cared for those dogs along with her burgeoning household for enough years to realize the responsibility of being a pet owner.
After my husband finished our Dream Home and we moved in with my son, Robbie Hafele and Foxy Wortham, I found chewed up doors from Foxy attempting to get squirrels outside along with ruined shoes and furniture. Toto never damaged anything because his mouth was too small to do any real damage but Foxy was another story altogether!
My sons retainers were regularly destroyed and the “accidents” from our previous apartments moved with us.
This morning I walked Foxy for well over an hour before he would finally poop with a sinus infection and the knowledge that his latest “habit” is to wait until we return to WorthamWorld and Mark my office rather than “tending to business outside.”
Of course, dogs can be fun and being joy to your life but, they can also bring stress and since I walk Foxy three times a day and sometimes four- you can imagine my horror when I find another “mess.”
We no longer have an acre and pool for Foxy’s pleasure since “moving to the city” and the condo life means walking him everyday.
I called my sister to remind her of this and reinforced her decision to keep a pet free home since I know she’s already overwhelmed raising the GrandTwins and running her household on her own.
Her husband would love a dog but is only home 1 1/2 days a week to care for it which leaves the burden on Cindy.
Before adopting a pet, I think everyone needs to consider the long term and very real responsibility.
Will the DanielDivaDiggs ever have another pet? Perhaps but it will be when her husband retires to help shoulder the responsibility…
Wendy M Wortham