Well, this one just popped into my head this morning, hope, once again, I don't offend, but, if I do, too bad!!
My friends already know, right now I am on edge, because my beloved Dog has suddenly been injured, or become sick. It is clear to all, the sun sets and rises in my world around my dog. I am alone quite often, at this time of life, and my dog is the one constant. He is always happy to see me, is a warm body to speak to, gives love unconditionally, and in return, the whole family dotes on this animal. He has been to the Vet for regular visits, is up to date with all his vaccinations, has shopping done on a regular basis at the Pet stores, has leashes of many colours. We shop for his food, and check where the product is made, trying to ensure we are not purchasing something that will perhaps kill him with kindness. The cupboard is filled with treats, he gets one each time he comes in from outside(which may be why he goes in and out, like he has a revolving door).
We took him for a drive a few days ago, he gets to run at a certain spot, the door was opened, and out he went. Immediately I knew something was wrong, he didn't take off like a bat out of hell. He, in fact, plodded, and began browsing on grass. I told my Honey, this was wrong, so back into the truck he came. We stopped at another favourite spot, where he usually wanders about checking the area, and we usually have to have patience before he is ready to leave, nothing...I noticed he was stumbling, and his back legs seemed weak. No discussion, drove right home and called the Vet, in the next town. Thankfully, we were able to rush right out for an appointment.
Anyone who has come to a place in life, where their pets have become as important as ours has, will understand that sick feeling. The drive was made in almost total silence. Both of us so worried. We crossed our fingers this was just over-protectiveness on our parts, maybe it was a common issue? Sadly, the Vet observed the weakness, and was also concerned. We were sent home with some medication, and instructions to watch him closely, keep him at rest (almost impossible with an energetic lab/retriever cross) and if he did not improve to return on Monday for X-rays.This visit cost us just over $100.
Now, he is not improving, so it is clear we will be out at the Vet's on Monday, the costs of what is to come, is on our minds, however, we will be doing whatever it takes to get our beloved dog back to health. I expect all the pet lovers out there are saying, rightly so, this is the way it is suppose to be.
Well, moment of truth! This is the only dog we have had, that has the benefit of Vet care. We have had many dogs in the past, and thankfully most of them survived a lifetime without health issues. We could just not afford to pay Vet fees, while raising a family, and living pay day to pay day. Our dogs were well fed, and greatly loved. They were kept warm, and a part of the family, but, the children came first. Perhaps those holier than thou reading, will state, we should not have had pets if we couldn't afford them. Helllooooo...maybe we should simply have left them at the rescue place, in hopes someone else would come along, someone with tons of money?
I keep thinking about the little dog we had when my honey and I first got together. He was a small breed, and another dog chewed the crap out of him. I was in a state, we did not have the funds to travel the 4 hours to a Vet, let alone pay Vet costs. The only solution in our world, was to put the poor animal out of his misery. I was heartbroken! I still remember my sister-in-law offering to pay the Vet costs, and the poor little thing came home with drainage shunts, and stitches, but, I will never forget how thankful I was, she allowed us to get him the help he needed.
See, it wasn't because we didn't love the dog, it was simply because we could not possibly find funds to pay the extreme cost of a Vet. Vet's are like Dentists, if you have to go there, you know damn well, you are going to be dishing out a ton of money. Do we all have money set aside, for Pet emergencies? Rather doubtful. Most of us do not have money set aside for people emergencies! So, perhaps the SPCA will be setting up new regulations ensuring all people with pets must have an account ensuring the pet will be properly cared for in the future, limiting those who can have an animal to the wealthier? What will happen to all the other animals? Oh, yeah, people will spay and neuter, and we will just have a specific amount of animals to fill the homes of those with the emergency accounts......
I get ticked when someone feels another should not have a pet, because they can't offer the animal everything. I have seen pictures of homeless people covering their dogs with blankets, and going without, themselves. Should we take that animal away, because there is no way in hell they could afford a Vet? A human being with a heart, can see that animal is loved. It is clear the person will do all they can to offer comfort to that creature, to the best of their ability. It is apparent that is not just an "animal" it is a friend, and a partner.
Now, I am extremely glad at this point, we will be able to manage to find a way to pay whatever the cost, to make my puppy dog better, and although we may have to fore go a trip, or perhaps cut back on some extras for a while, we will manage. It is not up for debate, this time, like others. My children are grown, we have two incomes, and the "baby'" is number one. I do not have to worry about the SPCA or Animal rights dragging me into court because of mistreatment.
I think we have come to a stupid place in life, with institutions like this running rampant. I am all for stopping animal cruelty,. I have been a dog lover since the beginning of my life, I will cry if I see Old Yeller, or Marley and Me. I hate to see an animal suffer. But, to limit people who have the ability to bring a pet into their homes, and offer it love and affection, a warm place to sleep, a full stomach, and the chance to be a part of a family, on the size of their income, is ludicrous. If this was the rule, I would never have had the 16 years of our last beloved animal, who never once made a Vet visit.
Pets are People too...Well, mine is, in my world, at this time in my life. But, that is simply because I have left the world of raising children, and the cost and time and effort that takes. I still believe if you can offer an animal love and comfort to the best of your ability, that animal will have a good life. When Vet costs, like Dentists, come down to an affordable level, or the animal rights folks come out with some fund for those in need to access, do not judge the love someone has for their pets on the size of their wallet!Those folks who cannot afford to do what we are doing, are likely heart broken, and wish they could find a way to make their pet better. If you find it offensive they cannot manage, perhaps you can make a deal with the Vet?
I for one, understand my Dog has a position in our world, that is pretty lofty. He is treated far better than any other animal we have had before, and, my children shake their heads at what we do for him. He is the "lucky" dog, the one that came along at the right time in life, when we were able to concentrate on his well being. I understand the other pets we had, never got this treatment, but they got the best we could give at the time, and. like everything else, what more can a person do? Our best is just a little better now, but, I remember, and I do not judge others as poor animal owners, if they have limitations. I understand the pain of a small wallet.