I realize I haven't written in a while. We've moved and just got a new puppy so life is crazy busy. But the puppy (and search for the right one) has inspired this post. It's on the serious side.
So many people get a pet and seem to expect it to be easy. Raising a pet is not a laid back job. I have some new neighbors with 2 dogs. They spend all their time just running around the back yard. They never go inside, and they never go on walks. Let me remind you that I live in the southwest, where it's HOT. These dogs have no exercise except chasing each other around the yard and barking at every little noise. I feel sorry for these dogs. I'm considering offering to walk them.
Then there are all these beautiful animals in the shelters. They post their stories on the kennels. We saw 2 older dogs, 9 years old. Their owners moved and decided the dogs couldn't move with them. They spent 9 long years loving their people only to get dumped at the shelter.
I've seen a craigslist posting where the girl claimed she had to get rid of her dog and cats because she's pregnant. You know, that myth about cats suffocating babies is just that, a myth. I have seen cats sit and watch over babies as though they were their own. My parents had a dog with their first child, and had one dog or another with the other 2 as well. You can have pets and children at the same time. Many, many people have done it.
It hurts me to see these animals being given up for such stupid reasons. "We're moving" is not an excuse. I've moved with my cat multiple times. "We're having a baby" is not an excuse. "I don't have enough time for it" is not an excuse. Animals are living beings, not cute little toys. If you aren't willing to commit to them for as long as they live, then don't even bother.
There are some good people on the craigslist postings. They bring in a pet from the streets and try to find a home for it. They understand they can't care for the animal themselves, but don't just leave it out in the streets.
So please, unless you are willing to commit to the responsibility of owning a pet (exercise, food, vet visits, grooming, love, etc.), don't get one. If you know me personally and make this mistake, be prepared to see the angry side of me. This is one issue I take to heart.