The Price of Pets

     Pets are great. They add so much to our lives. I actually prefer my pets to a lot of people I know. They’re happy if you just pay a little attention to them, they love you unconditionally and keep on loving you, even if there are times that you don’t have a lot of time to spend with them (because you’ve got a newborn in the house). They’re just wonderful, and make life a lot more bearable.

     The bad thing is that they don’t live as long as we do. In my lifetime, I’ve had a total of eight dogs and six cats. When I was little, our dachshund died just before Christmas one year. He had been my best friend, and I was so upset for a long time. I still miss him. My parents bought me a Scottish terrier for my birthday when I turned 12. We only had him for about six months when my Dad took him to the Humane Society without my knowledge. I was so angry that I didn’t speak to my parents for five or six months after that. Once I got older I got a cat named Bandit. He would get in bed between my husband and me and actually managed to shove my husband out of bed. He was quite rude to our kids, but he could sometimes be loving to them, also – after all, his was a cat.  We had him for a long time, but eventually he did get sick and I had to have him put to sleep. At the same time we had dogs and other cats that all ended up in doggy or kitty heaven.

     After our wonderful, loving Black Lab had to be put to sleep, I said that I’d had enough and couldn’t keep doing this over and over. My husband came home with an abused Border Collie a few days after my little speech. Of course he lives here now with us, and has added so much to our lives.

     But, on Saturday, I once again had to bring a cat to the Vet for his final trip. Our seventeen year old cat, Pink Panther was having medical issues that really had no resolution other than death. So, we put him to sleep. I’m not over it, and probably never will be. I still dream about all my dogs, Rhett, Mac, Leggo, Striker, Socrates, and Shadow. Most of them were rescue dogs, and we’ve never gone to a breeder for a dog. We’ve given abused dogs a happy new home where they are loved. I dream about all my cats, Bandit, Riff, Raff, Riffraff, and Pink Panther. All of them were abandoned cats that someone just dumped in the road. They’ve all added so much to our lives, and I can’t imagine what our lives would have been like without all that they’ve given us.  Pets are wonderful, fantastic and great. But, when they leave us, the hole they leave is unbearable.

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