Please excuse me whilst I hop aboard this little soap box of mine….
I have to be honest, this is a scary place for me to be. Not because I’m afraid of ‘heights’ but because I very much dislike confrontation and public attention. And save me the “Why are you putting yourself out there in a blog then?” outcry because sometimes we have to do the uncomfortable. Let me also give a reminder that I have the right to unapprove or delete any comments that are ugly, rude, or downright malicious. (Look at me all battle ready, like people actually read my blog 😉 ) Ladies and gentleman, suit up, I’m treading on dangerous territory and although I may not be looking forward to the personal attacks, I feel this must be said.
If you have ever owned or ever plan on owning a pet, be it a dog, hamster, fish, cat, snake, or rhinoceros, it is a commitment and a responsibility. Shall we delve into what those two words mean, as I believe they are being used a lot lately, but not correctly.
Commitment: An agreement or pledge to do something in the future….The state or instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled. Responsibility: The act of being responsible (able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations).
So what do we have here? Being able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations which proceed into the future. I am downright sick and tired of the way these two words are being thrown around and used daily in reference to buying, adopting, rescuing, saving, or owning a living, breathing being. Heck, if I really wanted to put myself on the radar, I’d point out that this doesn’t just have to apply to animals (obviously the owning part might have to be edited a bit, oh, and probably the buying as well). What on earth makes people think that impulse is a great idea when it comes to pets? Now, let me address that, yes, sometimes God places special little dogs, lizards, or camels in our lives that we may or may not have been planning on, but I’m not chastising those who are resonsible people when put in those positions (exceptions to every rule). I’m talking about the “Hey! I’m sitting here watching tv and the Sarah McLachlan sob story commercial comes on and even though I’ve never owned a pet, live in a 30th story apartment the size of a pea, and work 16 hours a day, I think I’ll go get a pony!” Please, please, please, for the love of Pete do some research! I really don’t know very many people who would use the same type of approach to buying a car or a house and neither of those have a heartbeat.
We live in a day and age when people push the mantra, if it feels good, do it. Well guess what, it doesn’t feel good to get a cavitity filled, but it sure as heck felt good to eat that candy. Pleasing oneself in the moment can be disastrous. And when you involve another life in that ‘thrill of the moment’ you can ultimately be responsible for it’s demise. I know you’re thinking,” Whoa, whoa, a little dramatic aren’t we?” Yeah, it is dramatic, but wouldn’t you be putting on a show the likes of Broadway if people weren’t listening? How do you get someone’s attention who’s been so self absorbed they can’t even see their own backside is on fire? You shock them. Buzz buzz, here it comes. When you get a pet, be it from a breeder, shelter, rescue, or ‘oops the neighbor’s hamster is knocked up,’ you are now the sole provider for said pet and they depend on you for EVERYTHING. You are now responsible for doing your best to raise (or possibly fix) a respectful, disciplined dog/cat/horse/chimpanzee. You commit to that animal and a majority of the time, you will have the best family member in the household. Notice I said a majority of the time. I won’t pretend that every connection is going to work. I’ve had a dog that didn’t mesh well with my situation at the time and I still regret that I took him in without mentally preparing myself for what he really was. But, the good thing is he ended up going back to his breeder where he lived (still lives?) a happy and fulfilled life. That’s the other side of the responsibility coin. When it doesn’t work, you find a place that it will. And that’s NOT the shelter. That’s NOT taking them out to the middle of BFE and dumping them. That’s NOT pawning them off on some unsuspecting person for them to dump the pet at the shelter.
I feel that I need to wrap this up for today as to not push too many buttons in one afternoon, but I do feel a few more parts to this in the works. P.S. My disclaimer, if you are offended by this in any way, please come talk to me. I’m honestly not trying to rub anyone the wrong way, only trying to make people think. And if I’ve come across the wrong way, contact me personally so we can talk about it 🙂