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Sick and Dying Dogs and Cats
Old 11-08-2007, 01:02 PM   #1
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Sick and Dying Dogs and Cats

After seeing so many posts by dog and cat owners about how heartbreaking it is when the pets are sick or die, I have to wonder whether it is really worth it.

Your companion will probably only live for 10-15 years, so you can be pretty sure this sadness is coming.

I love dogs and cats, and have had about eight over my lifetime, but it seems to me that the disadvantages are overwhelming:
  • limits your mobility (both daily and vacation-wise)
  • possible barking/neighbor problem
  • potentially smelly house
  • hair on everything
  • wild animals brought into the house
  • house/thing damage (esp with puppies/kittens)
  • dirty paws
  • accidents
  • vet and food bills ($4K to $38K over animal's life)
  • wakes you up
  • wants walk when you want couch
  • liability issues
  • worming treatments
  • sad when they die
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:09 PM   #2
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On the other hand -

Welcomes you always
Doesn't hold a grudge
warms your feet at night, even when spouses limbs are cold
reminds you to live in the moment
gives daily lessons in unconditional love
doesn't care if you are in a bad mood and only grunt
encourages you to get out or get up and play
less expensive than therapy
lowers blood pressure
helps you meet others
improves tolerance and patience

I am sure there are others who will add more reasons we subject ourselves, despite the known/expected heartache and expense
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
After seeing so many posts by dog and cat owners about how heartbreaking it is when the pets are sick or die, I have to wonder whether it is really worth it.
A decision each has to make, but the pain of losing one is only a tiny mirror image of the joy of having one for me (a dog, in my case). Not too different in that regard (although on a whole different plane) among people - the more you love the harder it is to say goodbye.

But no doubt they come with a huge serving of responsibility, cost, nuisance, and even risk. We are dogless at the moment for practical reasons - lots of upcoming travel, possible relocation or downsizing in the short term, both working, etc. But the moment our situation stabilizes we'll be looking for a successor to Sophie who died last January.

Just something some of us have in our makeup, I guess.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Why do you surf Al? You might drown, get eaten by a shark, or get bonked in the head with a surfboard.

Everything good has risks, bumps and often times bad endings.

I have six sleeping meatloaves on the floor of my living room. Everyone is content.

Having all six of them pass away when my son is still a small boy is going to be a tough thing to deal with. For certain.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:14 PM   #5
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Minus
Has to be wrestled into cage for trips to vet

Plus
Kills the %^&# mice before they get into the house
----------
Cat is ~8 years old; I don't think I'll be replacing him.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Your companion will probably only live for 10-15 years, so you can be pretty sure this sadness is coming.

the disadvantages are overwhelming:
  • limits your mobility (both daily and vacation-wise)
  • possible barking/neighbor problem
  • potentially smelly house
  • hair on everything
  • wild animals brought into the house
  • house/thing damage (esp with puppies/kittens)
  • dirty paws
  • accidents
  • vet and food bills ($4K to $38K over animal's life)
  • wakes you up
  • wants walk when you want couch
  • liability issues
  • worming treatments
  • sad when they die
Yeah, but I married him anyway.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Why do you surf Al? You might drown, get eaten by a shark, or get bonked in the head with a surfboard.

Everything good has risks, bumps and often times bad endings.

I have six sleeping meatloaves on the floor of my living room. Everyone is content.

Having all six of them pass away when my son is still a small boy is going to be a tough thing to deal with. For certain.
Little carnivorous heaps?
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:23 PM   #8
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Three ~100lb slobbering lumps and three 10-20lb urinators.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
it seems to me that the disadvantages are overwhelming:
  • limits your mobility (both daily and vacation-wise)
  • possible barking/neighbor problem
  • potentially smelly house
  • hair on everything
  • wild animals brought into the house
  • house/thing damage (esp with puppies/kittens)
  • dirty paws
  • accidents
  • vet and food bills ($4K to $38K over animal's life)
  • wakes you up
  • wants walk when you want couch
  • liability issues
  • worming treatments
  • sad when they die
Hey, that's the way I view having children!

Mike D.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:36 PM   #10
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Yeah, but I married him anyway.
I was thinking, "That's why I'm not married!"
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:44 PM   #11
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Mike, I'm with you--my pets are priceless but I wouldn't have kids if you paid me to have them! That whole list applies to children for sure--especially the worming treatments!

T-Al, sometimes the best things in your life bring both love and heartache, but fortunately not in equal doses.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:48 PM   #12
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I've had dogs all my life and frankly can't imagine not having a couple around. But what you say is true, Al, and I have been giving it thought for a couple on months now. I guess it comes down to: who else is going to sniff my butt with a smile?
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:53 PM   #13
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It's not just the cost, either - - it's the responsibility.

I just don't want to be responsible for the life or death of any living thing right now.

I don't even have a potted plant. Love the freedom.

Maybe I will get a puppy after I retire, or maybe not. My imagination is big enough that I might try a stuffed animal first; maybe that would work for me.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:01 PM   #14
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A few days of grieving is a small price to pay for 10-15 years of happiness.

My first dog may have saved our lives. We were in an apartment, and a fire started in the closet where the furnace was, along with other flammable things that probably shouldn't have been there. The dog woke up my mom, who smelled the smoke and woke everyone else up. I don't know if we even had smoke alarms back then. It could've been very bad.

My neighbors lost her daughter a few years ago. She says she spent a lot of time just sitting in a chair, and the dog stayed right beside her almost all of the time and petting the dog helped her through it. She says she doesn't know how she would've gotten through it without the dog's company.

Indoor cats are pretty easy to care for. If you've got an out of the way place for a litter box the smell can be mostly contained. I could travel for days and they'd be fine. If it was going to be a week or more I'd get a neighbor to scoop the litter box and change the water.

As far as vet fees, I never really faced a hard decision on spending a lot or putting them down. For two of them the vet pretty strongly hinted that there wasn't much hope, and the 3rd just had bad timing to get diabetes that I couldn't get under control at a time when I just couldn't have her peeing everywhere. But I wouldn't have spent $1000s on any of them.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:07 PM   #15
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Oh, hey,speaking of litter...have you seen the new kind? The brand is called Rescue litter, 100% natural, and it is really lightweight white crystals that absorb the urine and has an orange scent. They have it at Walmart. My cats have required that it be mixed in with conventional litter first, but it is really great stuff so far.

I think T-Al is just messing with us--he knows why you have animals, otherwise why would he have had his kid?
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:13 PM   #16
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Mmm, I tried that newfangled cat litter along with several others. My cats looked at it and said "oh thats lovely. we'd hate to soil that beautiful white crystal litter. we'll just pee over here in a box of cd's."

In other news, its possible to wash cat pee off of a cd.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:13 PM   #17
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Hey, that's the way I view having children!

Mike D.
They don't usually need worming !
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:24 PM   #18
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You didn't live in our neighborhood Moemg! Buncha southern young'uns wandering around in the yard with no shoes on...well, you get the idea.
And on that note, I never got over the idea that ringworm is actually a fungus.

CFB, it also works for vinyl, but the album covers don't fare so well.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:24 PM   #19
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Well, you should be able to tell how I feel about 'em by my avatar. That's the real Puzzley, best dog I ever had. He's been gone for a couple of years, and I miss him all the time. It was worth all the pain of losing him to have had him in the first place. He once bit off the end of my right thumb. He could bite off the end of the left one if I could have him back. (It's a long story, he didn't do it maliciously)
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:48 PM   #20
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It's sad when an animal or a human dies but what's the alternative to live an isolated life to avoid pain . I'll take the pain .
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