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Old 11-09-2007, 10:35 AM   #41
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We think our bunny is nearly seven years old (he was a stray picked up by the Humane Society). Typical bunny lifespans are 10-14 years.

That means he's going to be mighty mature when our daughter goes off to college in three years, and I'm not looking forward to delivering the inevitable news to her someday.

I can only vaguely tally up the thousands of dollars of property damage he's caused, the hundreds of dollars of "maintenance" vet bills, and the hundreds of hours we've spend adjusting our lives to meet his demanding standards. Every day I wonder who's really the superior being in this house... I don't even make the top three.

OTOH he's helped our kid demystify & deglamorize the commitment & labor required by a pet. He's taught her about responsibility. He's taught her a lot about what it means to be an authority figure. He's taught her how to deal with happiness, pain, & sorrow. She's learned a lot from an oversized rodent with the brain of a walnut.

I guess we've learned a lot too. But after he goes to his great reward, next time I want to pet a bunny I'm just going to hang out at the pet shop for 20 minutes.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:40 AM   #42
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A typical healthy dog or cat can give you a decade or more of happiness and affection. And yes, the pain of losing them sucks but overall I think we come out ahead by having them in our lives.

We lost a cat to kidney failure and anemia in 2002 after having her for nine years. The first few weeks were difficult and very sad. But time has a way of making the pain fade even as the happy memories are preserved.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:04 PM   #43
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I think it is so heartbreaking, because they are such wonderful companions.

I am a big fan of Boxers, and sadly they do not tend to live very long. Utterly crushes me when one passes on, but that crushing comes because they are such incredible animals.

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Old 11-09-2007, 12:05 PM   #44
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I don't even make the top three.
Me neither.

Quote:
But after he goes to his great reward
This still makes me uncomfortable
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:26 PM   #45
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I just turned 55 and got myself a Jack Russell terrier puppy for my birthday.
While I had an easy life without many responsibilities, I'm really enjoying being a dog owner.

We take walks everyday, she's making me be more active so I make sure she gets her exercise. She's a very active dog, and I'm enjoying every minute of it. I hope to be able to return the rugs to the hardwood floors and take down the baby gates soon.

She's almost house broken now; not sure how to train her to stay out of the catbox though. I'd be heartbroken is something happened to her but wouldn't give her up for anything.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:55 PM   #46
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I gladly admit I am a dog and cat person, but my family knows I am a sucker for other non-humans, too.

So, we've had two horses that I would never ride. I am terrified of horses ever since I was thrown and dragged by one in my teens. So, while my daughter rode, I was the assigned groom -- and discovered I enjoyed grooming them as a stress reliever (mine, not theirs!).

And we have one goldfish -- the survivor of two that a well-meaning friend gave my daughter 12 YEARS AGO. Yup, I have one 12 year old goldfish who has grown to about six inches long. I keep saying that I'm going to fillet him/her/it when it dies, but the reality is, I'll miss it when it finally dies. (How long can a goldfish live anyway)

But my least favorite pet was the African tree frog that my daughter bought with her allowance years ago. This thing was about the size of my thumbnail and ate live crickets, which I would buy from the pet store every week. I asked the store owner how long I might expect this thing to live and he responded that he never knew of one to last more than about 3 or 4 months. OK, I thought, I can survive this. Well, who knew that I was the tree frog whisperer? The $#@* thing lived nearly 4 YEARS...and every week I spent $1 for a dozen live crickets for him/her/it to eat....and every week I cussed out the store owner for selling my daughter that animal in the first place! Then one day, I saw that the crickets were still alive in the frog's tank although the frog had died. I drew the line at keeping crickets as pets and let them go free in the woods behind my house! Enough was enough!
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:19 PM   #47
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OK, so Lucy is dying. She has GME, a neurological disorder. If I describe what it makes her do, you run to the moderator and cry in disgust. Whatever. She's on 2 different immune suppresants, steroids and an antiacid. Today she starts alternating one of the drugs. I'm responsible for keeping track. Did she get 1/2 this, today or not? Split the pills to save money. My wife can't even remember what the vet said. Shop around. Costco, Canada, It's serious business. It's reality. I can't explain or you go cry to your mommy. Talk to me. I'm an adult. This is what it is. It's serious, serious business. Lucy is my dog. She was the Michael Jordan of dogs: now she staggers from side to side. This is what pet ownership is about.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:04 PM   #48
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OK, so Lucy is dying. She has GME, a neurological disorder. If I describe what it makes her do, you run to the moderator and cry in disgust. Whatever. She's on 2 different immune suppresants, steroids and an antiacid. Today she starts alternating one of the drugs. I'm responsible for keeping track. Did she get 1/2 this, today or not? Split the pills to save money. My wife can't even remember what the vet said. Shop around. Costco, Canada, It's serious business. It's reality. I can't explain or you go cry to your mommy. Talk to me. I'm an adult. This is what it is. It's serious, serious business. Lucy is my dog. She was the Michael Jordan of dogs: now she staggers from side to side. This is what pet ownership is about.
OK, so here is where the pet-lovers vary all over the board. I am a confirmed and strong dog-person, always will be. But for a million reasons (of which very few are financial), I have never engaged in heroic or extraordinary medical care for my dogs. All the routine care, immunizations, visits for acute problems, of course.

But if it came to major trauma and life support, kidney, liver or heart failure, cancer, or any other major health event, I would do whatever was necessary for their comfort but not anything beyond that. Part of it is that I hate to see them suffer, and that kind of care can cause suffering. Also, I feel they are put in this world for their alloted 10-15 years and you quickly reach the point of diminishing returns with lots of time, worry, and cost for the remaining few years.

Mostly, though, they are not people. They may have a lot to teach us humans, but in the end, I always felt I owed to them peace and comfort, rather than staggeringly expensive and short-lived heroic measures with small returns and major sacrifices. I sometimes wonder whether the "dog approach" might be better in some ways for many of my patients, but that's another story.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:11 PM   #49
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OK, so here is where the pet-lovers vary all over the board. I am a confirmed and strong dog-person, always will be. But for a million reasons (of which very few are financial), I have never engaged in heroic or extraordinary medical care for my dogs. All the routine care, immunizations, visits for acute problems, of course.

But if it came to major trauma and life support, kidney, liver or heart failure, cancer, or any other major health event, I would do whatever was necessary for their comfort but not anything beyond that. Part of it is that I hate to see them suffer, and that kind of care can cause suffering. Also, I feel they are put in this world for their alloted 10-15 years and you quickly reach the point of diminishing returns with lots of time, worry, and cost for the remaining few years.

Mostly, though, they are not people. They may have a lot to teach us humans, but in the end, I always felt I owed to them peace and comfort, rather than staggeringly expensive and short-lived heroic measures with small returns and major sacrifices. I sometimes wonder whether the "dog approach" might be better in some ways for many of my patients, but that's another story.
That's how I've dealt with cats over the years (put down five in five years as they got old and decrepit).

I have asked the vet: "How much better is he going to get?"

I hope, when the time comes, that I can ask the same question/solution for myself.
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:52 AM   #50
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Bigritchie that is one beautiful dog!

ronin, so sorry for Lucy.

Our Golden, Shadoe, was just 8 yrs old and passed away peacefully in his sleep back in May.

Boru, the Airedale, is starting to show signs of arthritis in colder weather. He is also just over 8 yrs old.

Buddy, the Chocolate Lab, is somewhere around 4 or 5 years old. He hasn't lost a step, fast as lightening. He will chase balls until he can't even run, but he loves it. Boru goes about halfway, then waits to ambush Buddy on the return trip and try to steal the ball.

Life without my dogs, inconceivable.
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and then there is this,,,
Old 11-10-2007, 08:55 AM   #51
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and then there is this,,,

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), having a pet can decrease your:
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Triglyceride levels
  • Feelings of loneliness
And all that without introducing meds and other foreign substances into your body.
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Old 11-10-2007, 12:44 PM   #52
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And all that without introducing meds and other foreign substances into your body.
I beg to differ. I probably ingest and breathe in several pounds of dog hair each month.
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:55 PM   #53
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I beg to differ. I probably ingest and breathe in several pounds of dog hair each month.
Me too!
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:02 PM   #54
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Me too!
When I empty the vacuum bag, I'm always amazed how a 10 pound cat can shed 20 pounds of hair a month.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:25 PM   #55
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I'm convinced that other dogs are jumping the fence into our yard to poop.

Once every few months I blow an entire cats worth of hair out of my laptop keyboard.
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