Together, we have thought about four major considerations when determining if you really want a pet: Benefits, Financial Responsibilities, Time Commitment, and Risks Involved. Now, the most difficult, Death of a Pet must be addressed. But, believe me, this series will end on a happy note as I share the story of my dog, Zeus.
Death of a Pet
Our dear pets become a part of our family! Sometimes they are with us for many years, and losing them is heartbreaking. Realistically, however, we must keep in mind that the day will come when decisions will need to be made because of his/her health issues, or nature answers that concern. Those are the times when having a caring veterinarian is critical, both for you and your pet. Is the animal in severe pain? What are the options at this time? What is the process for disposal of his body? What are city regulations regarding animal burial on personal property? Are there pet cemeteries in your area? Is cremation a wise choice? These are questions you need to think about now, but rely on your veterinarian to guide you when the time comes. Another aspect we must face is our own possible serious illness or death. Who will take care of your dear pet? And if we move to a retirement center, are pets allowed? Talk to your family and others you trust to guide you in the decision making process.
Variety of Pets for Senior Citizens
We immediately think of dogs or cats, but do investigate others that may also brighten your days in different ways. A lovely aquarium is calming and fascinating; birds bring a different dimension into our lives; and smaller, caged creatures may be more to your liking. A single gold fish in a pretty bowl is delightful in any room! Reminder: All pets, large or small, require your time, energy, caring, and financial commitment.
Meet My Dog Zeus
Almost three years ago, Zeus was a gift to me on Mother’s Day! I had met this beautiful, fluffy, white American Eskimo miniature earlier in the year. The rescued 25 pound dog had heart worm treatments with complications which involved amputation of his tail. My son who lives in another state, had rescued him, nursed him through all of the medical trauma, and gave him to me for love and security. And Zeus has provided that! However, it has been a slow adjustment process for both of us. He developed more medical problems within a year, but with outstanding care and medications from our fabulous veterinarian, he is doing great! Because of his protective nature, socialization was also a problem, but he has made significant strides in that area. He is bright and together we have developed a surprising vocabulary; he loves routine and protects me with vicious barks against squirrels, birds, visitors, noises, trucks, and even the new postman! I often wonder what his early years were like. Was he mistreated, unloved, neglected? Now, for sure, he is not! Zeus is approaching twelve years of age, is very spoiled, very loved, and oh, is truly a joy for me every day!
Is pet ownership the right choice for you?
Acknowledgment: With deep appreciation to Dr. Lisa Stacy, Hope Animal Medical Center, Athens, Georgia, for fabulous care of Zeus, support and guidance for me, and words of wisdom about this blog. Special thanks are also extended to the entire staff at Hope for many kindnesses; to Lucinda Charles, Hope staff and Zeus sitter, for providing the photo of Zeus; and to Lavonda Cheek, Zeus’s second friend after Roger Perry, our former postman, and her continuing love and care of Zeus as his No. 1 sitter. The story of Lavonda’s patience and friendship will be featured in a future blog.
Also see: Hope Animal Medical Center