This is Grief Talking, But Please Consider the Long Term Commitment Before Adopting a Pet.

I don’t know exactly where I’m going to go with this or how I’m going to start but honestly, what’s new? If you follow the train wreck that is my lack of consistency on social media platforms you know we strike when the iron’s hot. If there’s even an ounce of motivation, we jump! I hate myself for not writing for three months, but here we are.

Let’s just call it what it is. Life just continues to throw shit at me. I’m constantly bobbing and weaving and sometimes it just doesn’t feel good and my relationship with the online space has taken a hit from it.

I’m going to preface this post by saying a few things.

  1. Last year I was dealt a heavy hand. I had a major surgery followed by a traumatic event and healing has been ongoing ever since.
  2. Then, as if healing from that wasn’t hard enough, we suffered a very major, very painful loss in our family. I cried for the longest and we had to adjust to a new normal. Well, a new normal on top of the new normal we were already living.
  3. Not even three months later our oldest dog Luna began a month long fight for her life. Ultimately we had to make the very painful decision to put her down. She would get better, then worse, then better… until she didn’t. Until her body stopped fighting. We gave everything we had, and she gave even more. It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t stopped crying.

Losing a pet

So I’m not here to play boohoo pity party games, but I’m also not going to apologize for curling up in a ball and avoiding the world at times because experiencing loss after loss after loss hurts and I can’t take care of ME while simultaneously worrying about the opinions of others.

I don’t know exactly what I aim to do with this post. I should probably figure this stuff out before I take to the blog but in the spirit of continuing to share an uncensored, authentic life it seems to be worth sharing. We experience pain, I try to turn it into a lesson or word of encouragement for someone else.

So here we go: pets are expensive and a huge commitment and should not be added to our families without much consideration. 

Let me start by saying, I am a rescue worker. I work with and advocate for animals every day; through my work at my local shelter, my social media platforms, the companies I choose to support, the diet I choose to eat, etc. And here’s the thing – I’m not the perfect advocate. I don’t think anyone is. I mean, listen.. I have a purebred dog. Would I purchase one today? No. Did I have the knowledge back then that I have today? No. But I have her even while advocating for rescue. I’ve made countless mistakes that the rescue community would frown upon. At the end of the day, I’m passionate about animals and I’m consistently learning as I fight to do more to speak on the behalf of the voiceless.

Fostering Kittens

I see animals surrendered to the shelter for reasons that most people couldn’t even think up. Still, I don’t judge anyone who walks through those doors and hands over an animal. Judgement is not for me to give out. However, knowledge and encouragement is.

That’s where I’m going with this post.

Since May of this year (we’re now moving into October,) I have been in my local vet’s office weekly. Sometimes multiple times a week.

Three dogs, two cats, and a litter of foster kittens. Check-ups, meds, weight management, ultrasounds, hospital stays, stool samples, shots… just to name a few of the things we have been in for. At the end of Luna’s life we were going in multiple times a week.

Cats

Pack of dogs

I don’t regret a single one of my animals. I wouldn’t even do it differently if given the chance. But, unless I were in a different place in my life, I don’t think I would have so many animals at one time. I say this as someone who goes all in for my pets. I like to think we take extraordinary care of them and we have the means to do so. They visit the vet routinely. We feed them high quality food. Our home is filled with items to make them comfortable. They are loved on and played with everyday. I can say with confidence they are so loved and cared for.

She is so lucky to have you. Unfortunately, most people don’t do as much for their pets as you have done for Luna.

That’s what we were told constantly in caring for Luna. We didn’t see it that way. We saw a dog that gave us 8 years of love and joy and she deserved no less.

I don’t know. This is all just grief talking and I guess it turns out this post doesn’t really have a clear, concise message. I had just left the vets office for a check-up and shots this morning while also scheduling an ortho exam and a neuter, thinking about how many times I’ve been there this year and how much money I’ve spent for both the maintenance of our pets and the desperate attempt at preserving life for our Luna.

I guess what I’m trying to say is there are two sides of the coin. I don’t want to see animals not getting what they deserve out of what should be a mutually beneficial relationship. They give us unconditional love and affection and half of the time we can’t even carve out 30 minutes in our day to give them a walk. On the other side of the coin, I don’t want to see families having to make the painful decision of economical euthanasia or avoidance of veterinarian care for their beloved pet because they weren’t educated about the means it takes to care for them.

I just want to help make people aware of how big the commitment of owning ONE pet is, let alone 5, and encourage you to make any decisions about adoption based on what you can manage, at the best of times and the worst – when they are healthy and thriving; and when they need us to go all in with their medical needs. Because I think even I, as a rescue advocate, underestimated just how overwhelming it can become.

Dog in wheelchair

And so there we have it. I think this is the most confusing, rambly post I’ve ever shared to this blog. Let’s just chalk it up to grief, call it a day, and go cuddle with our fur babies.

Thanks for listening,

tara

 

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