A Sign of the Times
As the number of job losses and foreclosures has mounted over the past two years, some people have chosen to surrender their animals, unable to afford pet food let alone veterinary care.
The above came from an article entitled: Pets in the Recession: Howls for Help, and given the state of the overall economy, I guess I should have expected it. I'm not quite so sure why this particular article seemed to stick with me so much... though, then again, maybe I do.
Sure, tales of foreclosures, unemployment, and general financial hardship abound. Certainly, when people are faced with losing their homes, or worse, I can understand why vet bills might be too much of a financial strain and why people might turn their pets in to shelters. I understand it intellectually, but it's a little hard to grasp on a personal, emotional level.
In our household, we have two dogs, one bird, and one fish -- and all of them (well, except for maybe the fish, he just swims around and looks pretty) are very much members of the family. It's hard to imagine a morning when, after waking up, we aren't greeted by our cockatiel's (sometimes very loud) chirping and whistling. He even knows, or at least knew, how to wolf whistle and whistle 'pop goes the weasel' (I haven't been whistling to him as much lately, so he might have forgotten them). It's also hard to imagine going for a family walk without the two dogs, or being excitedly greeted by them upon returning home, or, just having them there, in their dog beds, as we watch television in the evening.
I know how hard it would be for us to turn any of our pets over to a shelter, and it's hard to imagine just how difficult things would have to be, financially, before I could even consider making a decision like that.
A sign of the times? Perhaps.
A reminder of just how fortunate I am? Absolutely.
Russell (a.k.a. TMFEldrehad)