I am nothing if not a planner. Sadly, this does not mean I have my act together—I’m just deliberate in making major life decisions. At least I like to be. And, for me, adopting a pet qualified as a major life decision.
Earlier this week I read a blog post by a mom who identifies herself as cat person, but bowed under pressure to get a dog. I know that pressure. After all, we are one of only two families on our block that doesn’t own a dog. But I’m disappointed by her suggestion that pressure led to her pet purchase rather than desire, or at least a plan.
Ideally, that blogger mom—and reluctant pet-owning moms everywhere—will grow to love her family’s new best friend. And kind of like not using birth control, a decision not to stop the adoption of a pet can become a decision to adopt a pet. If you let a pet through the door, maybe you’re not as anti-dog (or cat or snake) as you claim to be.
Still, her experience has left me wondering just how many parents acquire a pet and end up adding undue stress that they, in turn, take out on the pet through no fault of its own.
My neighbor adopted a dog this year to quell the wishes of her two young boys, taking their already hectic lifestyle to new levels. I’m not sure how happy anyone (dog included) in that household is right now—my neighbor certainly seems anything but happy. It may be that she saves her venting for me, much like complaining about kids: the good stuff outweighs the bad, but sometimes the bad stuff appreciates a sympathetic ear.
So far, blogger mom has given her family’s dog a lukewarm reception. I hope she’s more welcoming than she lets on, and open minded about allowing her pet into her heart.
If I could wave my magic wand, I’d ensure that pet owners were thoughtful and thorough in their decisions related to pet selection. I’d initiate pet scenarios that considered the needs of the entire family. And I’d keep pets safe and happy.
By the bye, our fish continue to be safe and happy, and so do we.