Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It Starts with Dogs

Deciding to take care of a dog is probably a mature step into practicing your parental skills for the future. It’s not necessary to say that owning a dog automatically notes that you want kids and you’re on the road to starting a family. Not so obvious reasons for having dogs are because of your strong interests for the breed, in deep search of a productive goal or sometimes to feed the missing hole that you might account for as loneliness. A dog is always an honorable and good recipient of ones love and time.

Once a person has decided that he/she wants a dog. It is understood that aside from the psychological and physical demands it would entail, the person should also be prepared financially. It is not a one time purchase like a cellphone that only requires a couple of hours to recharge after three days.

Buying a dog, whichever breed, involves cash. After the said purchase, one has to buy dog food which is not always cheap. It costs a couple of hundred bucks. As an owner, one is expected to get the best he could give for his/her own pet. Different brands would test one’s budgeting skills and sleeping maternal instincts.

After pet food, one has to buy a dog dish, shampoo and other necessary accessories. A dog bed and a suitable cage are most required especially if the dog is still in its sensitive stage.

It doesn’t stop there. For a couple of months, one has to pay for a series of veterinary services which include check-ups and a variety of periodic shots to ensure that the puppy is immune from all possible diseases, each visit easily summing up to a thousand pesos. One can easily overlook this, but based from horror pet stories, it’s better to bank on immunizations that only cost a bit comparing to the expensive vet bills due to specialized treatments when the dog has contacted an illness or disease.

When you think you've done enough from proper care to medical attention and sustenance, of course there are still the undying demands of time, grooming, love and proper training. If all goes well, the dog’s company could be enjoyed for years.

But that is not often the case. Along the way a pet owner must prepare for minor to major glitches in their dog’s health. Since they are creatures equally susceptible to threats and germs just like us humans, there is no reason to that are perceived as invincible. They do not have hypochondriacs in their species either. It may be varying to accidents, to illnesses and special cases that might need specialized medical attention. And this means cash and resources.

Some heartless fools who unfortunately have managed to take "feed" a dog might just leave them to die. Other things are prioritized and before the owner knows it, the complications have gone worse that could even lead to death. But as pet owners, we should do whatever we can to ensure that our pets receive the best care they deserve especially in much needed times. Otherwise, we are murderers of a lesser kind. In this case, priorities should be revisited and resources should be timely spent.

Rainy days also provide a great example for pet lovers to save.

Yesterday, Mitch and I hurried home and brought Rocky to Harvey’s vet after office hours. Rocky is suffering intense itching that affected a part of his skin, which resulted to lesions and scaling. The doctor treated it immediately and gave Mitch some prescriptions for antibiotics, ointment and an anti-itch tabs. Aside from the towering medicine fees, Mitch also paid for the doctor’s fee, which would drive anyone to slight irritation.

It’s true that it was an unexpected expense. Anyone would have the right to feel slighted and angry paying for so much on a dog. But no one chose to be in that position and I’m just so proud of Mitch owning up to the responsibility. There is no question that he loves his dog so much, and he knows his responsibilities. It is not the first time Rocky has been hospitalized though. That's why Mitch is the one to perfectly remind me on how I should prepare for taking care of Harvey, my dog. Owning up to the responsibility and saving up for the rainy days are indeed best lessons you could derive from owning a pet.

I might have the knack various accessories for Harvey whenever I want. I might have the capability to spend on unnecessary things that I think would uplift us both, but in the end, having a pet gives me the time to save and prioritize for bigger things like health, sustenance and emergencies.

I know now what pets could instill in us besides its obvious source of joy to humans. Aside from the love and practice of caring, having a pet or owning a dog is one of the best trainings for saving up, to be financially flexible and ready if unfortunate things do come up. There's more to owning a pet just by mere joy and appreciation. It comes with a whole bag of responsibilities.

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