On one of the other lists that I belong to (not a German Shepherd list), but an all breed dog list someone wrote about her heartbreak of her divorce. Oh she’s not heartbroken about getting rid of the “old man,”………it’s the dog that she’s heartbroken about! I know I wrote a little something about this some time ago, but I thought I’d re-open the subject and include other areas of life that can hit us unexpectedly as well.
It seems that this lady is married to a man that had an older puppy when they first got together. Now all these years later, she and the dog have formed a strong bond and it’s breaking her heart to lose him. I don’t know if there is such a thing as visitation rights with animals like there is with children. After all, I don’t think that either one of them will be made to give “dog support’ money like we give child support money for kids. But I suppose the judge can do what he wants in situations like this. I don’t know.
What about other unforeseen life situations that may present itself to us? What happens if we live in an area that has a natural disaster hit our city? What would become of our animals? Our first response would be to save ourselves and our families. What about the dog that might be in the backyard? How about the dogs in the kennels? How many animals are lost forever in these situations? Can we ever be re-united with our beloved pets again?
I know many people have made out wills that give specific instructions as to what should be done with ones animals when we are no longer here. Do the people that we intend to leave our dogs with really know what they are getting themselves in to? Are these people truly animal lovers like we are? Some people might tell you not to worry. They’ll take good care of your dogs. But will they really? Us dog people are a very particular type of people! Will our friends and relatives be WILLING to sacrifice for our dogs like we do? My opinion is that no one will love our dogs the way that we do. We are “dog people” and that sets us apart from the “normal” people in society! To most people, a dog is just a dog and should be treated as such. To us they are part of our families!
What happens if you become sick and are no longer capable of taking care of your dogs? It is a huge responsibility someone takes on when they care for our dogs. Just how many people are willing to do that? Just because we love them so much, doesn’t mean that other people do. How many people are willing to change their lifestyles to include our dogs? And is it fair of them to have to change their lifestyles because we chose to have dogs in ours?
Then let’s take a look at the economy. How many people are losing their homes, their jobs, and their life savings? Suddenly these people are faced with situations that they’d rather not have to face at all. But here it is staring them down and forcing them to make choices. And many times those choices are about what to do with their animals. Just what becomes of the animals one has shared their lives with? Where do these animals go when their owners have to move into a small apartment and the landlord says, “NO ANIMALS ALLOWED HERE?” What do you do? Do you live in the car with your dogs? Do you put them in a shelter where they have but one week more to live and then their life is robbed from them when they had so much more life to live yet?
Circumstances beyond our control have forced our hands and making these life or death decisions will remain with us forever. This is not just about the low lives of the world who never wanted to work. This affects the hard worker who can no longer find work. He can barely feed himself and his family no less his dogs. This is about those who may have suffered in an accident and is now disabled and not able to work any longer. What are these people suppose to do and what becomes of their animals? How are they to cope?
There are no easy answers. But when we signed on to own dogs, we signed on to own them forever. We never expected that forever may be too short lived.
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My rating: "Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today": (4), making out wills: (4), having good dog friends: (4)